Buda Logo by Greg Stock

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Gunung Buda Expedition 2000

News from Camp

Week 6

Mar. 1
Mar. 2
Mar. 3
Mar. 4

Mar. 5
Mar. 6
Mar. 7
Mar. 8

Weeks 1 - 3
Week 4 (Feb. 17-22)
Week 5 (Feb. 23- 29)

Meet the Camp Staff 

Our Malaysian Colleagues

News from Camp - Week 6

As the last week of the expedition started, with numerous leads remaining, the pace of activity picked up even more. Some people departed to hike the Head hunter Trail to Mulu National Park. Those who remained pushing harder each day to mop up the leads that most interested them.

March 1, 2000

Deliverance, Spirit's River, Green Cathedral

Glen, Carol, Kate, Bill, Dick & Christopher (and perhaps one or two others), conducted a photo tour in Spirit's River. Starting at the Portal, they meandered through the "A" survey, past Andrew's Hall of Pendants, and into the "main" borehole. Saw and photographed a very large Huntsman spider with gray egg clutch in Hall of Pendants.

Joel, Jean and Fritzke went to Jeffrey's final passage in Green Cathedral. The ropes were gone. Exited and hiked up the mountain to find Sink City and Big Root entrances that bypass the ropes. Found both, but needed a traverse line to access the leads, so exited and checked Loris/Turtle connection leads.

March 2, 2000

Deliverance, Buda River Area, Green Cathedral. Spirit's River

Ron Simmons accompanied the photo group to Deliverence to get a GPS reading on the entrance. Satellite coverage was poor , but he was able to get reasonable reading by moving about 100' away.

Large group to Deliverance for photos and survey. They waded the river, which was only knee deep, and flagged the trail tenaciously (Steve though excessively until later that night, when he discovered how different the jungle is at night). Steve and Andy took off for the "end" of the cave, which has astoundingly large passage dimensions. To get to the recently discovered area, you must cross through some knee deep guano, then behind a 15 foot stalagmite to find a hole in the breakdown with good wind leading down to a climb which is much easier with an etrier. At this point, Andy who was wet and sweaty felt a burning sensation on his skin, which he solved by washing his clothes. Continuing through a series of rooms with breakdown floors, they eventually found the dirt crawl way leading to a room with a plethora of white helectites, and beyond that another crawl way led to a fault room with a wall incredibly adorned with more helectites. Photographic efforts in this wonderland consumed more than two hours, after which they returned to base camp, arriving about 10 PM.

Meanwhile a second photo team, consisting of Bill, Dick & Lynne continued taking pictures until 1 AM. They headed out, derigging as they went and passed Jed, Viv and Creature, bivied on the guano. After showering in one of the waterfalls in the cave, they camped near the entrance, getting to sleep about 4 AM. After sleeping until almost 10:00, the hike back to Buda Camp was uneventful.

Dave & Peri started a surface survey to connect the various pieces of the Buda River complex. They set a GPS station in a clearing not far from Cascade cave, and surveyed to both the insurgence and resurgence, and from there on down the stream and cascade into the main Buda River. They then began a long overland survey back towards Little Buda River and Buda River Caves, but stopped a few shots short of the final tie-in due to impending darkness.

Fritzke, Joel, and Kate surveyed a lead near the Big Root Entrance in S. Green Cathedral to a tight vertical fissure. Fritzke pushed through but needed a rope as the passage dropped down steeply and got bigger. Left a large lead and air.

Glen, Chris A., Carol, and Roland picked up "end" of the tube passage survey in Sprit's River, and continued through small steamlet passage, and breakdown rooms, to two more entrances, then up a corroded flowstone slope. In a larger "U" shaped room, small pebbles dislodged from the ceiling yielded the name "Bats Throwing Stones." Surveyed more dolines, pits, and meandering passage, eventually stopped by a pit requiring rope, but the lead beyond appears very good possibility for a N trending continuation of the cave.

March 3, 2000

Compendium, Spirit's River

In a long day trip to Compendium, Mike, Andrea & Steve netted 575 meters in the ladders area, the maze leading to the Happy Tubes, and a lead off the happy tubes which was very well decorated passaqge ending in stal-choke. The jungle was gloriously dark, and relatively dry, during two hour hike back to Base Camp.

Dave Gill, Kate and Joel continued the Spirit's River survey. One lead started as a small stream passage going SE, then a large passage going S. to an entrance. Several other entrances in the area. Then SE again, andthrough nice passage, and eventually tied to the "C" survey. Surveyed some side passages and ended the day. Meanwhile, Glen, Carol and Roland attempted to follow the "G" survey. Lots of short leads, no air, and ugly breakdown blocks. Located many entrances, but surface scouting around entrance dolines and cliffs found no additional entrances. Glen complained about the "misrable survey total", in contrast to Joel's team, which got about 450M, bringing the total for Spirit's River to 4746M.

 March 4, 2000

Twilight Cave

Bill & Peri went to Twilight Cave to take panorama photographs for a virtual-rality representation of the cave. Shot 8 panoramas, and mislayed one Sunpak 444 strobe. Saw pig tracks in the cave, a few bats, and some swiftlets.

Twilight Cave

Roots have canabalized the water channel in a stal and destroyed it from within

 March 5, 2000

Catfish River (Gua Sungai Iken Baong), Wot Wot Frog Entrance

Mike, Andrea and Steve conducted a day trip to check some ramps in Catfish River. While Mike climbed the first one, a huntsman spider about 4 inches in length fell off the ceiling onto Andrea - who launched into the freakout spider dance. When she finally stood still, it was still on her arm and Steve said "Don't move!" This prompted another movement of the jig, which ended with the huntsman nowhere to be found. Steve pushed a second lead but stoped at a 10 foot chimney with slick walls, leading to large breakdown chockstones.

On a previous survey trip, Mike & Andrea had surveyed from a lower entrance to Sistem Assam Bukit, dubbed "Wot Wot Frog" for the vocal local denizens. Mike had climbed to an upper entrance with a rotting nesting pole leading up into a large passage. Now, Mike, Andrea and Steve returned with rope to scoop the booty beyond. The first obstacle was a formation projection, which drooped down to form a shower head. This was about 12 feet high, with steep-sloping, snot-slick, moonmilk flowstone dropping another 25 feet down into a blind room. When this had been surveyed, they climbed around a large column and found the name "Jalen - Feb. 1996". Surveying continued. The guano on the floor was quite active with beetles, and a junction room with large fruit bats also hosts a questing leech, causing Steve to reroute the survey though some stal into a flowstone balcony overlooking a pit. Without rope there was no way to continue, so they called it a day.

 March 6, 2000

Gua Wot Wot Katak

Mike, Andrea and Steve were off again on the Happy Camp Trail, heading to Wat Wat Katak to drop the pit that stopped them yesterday. Funny how the two hour hike gets longer each time. Steve rappelled first, somewhat diappointed that a 15 foot drop lead to a another 40 feet down flowstone stair steps. Up the ramp on the other side, a diagonal slot lead to a continuation of the borehole he had just left. Disappointment forgetten, he ran back to collect his gear, the survey tape and his booty buddies, and they were all soon running doen borehole setting stations as fast as they could.

At one point, Steve encountered a wide bat roost and look up to see "to my horror hundreds (and I shit you not) - hundreds of leeches hanging on the ceiling. Some were squirmy, some were still and shriveled up (i.e. hungry). I said something obscene that got Andrea's attention and scrambled back to a relatively "leech free" area." Surveying the "Path of Leech Resistance" involved racing between stations to avoid a serious case of the "willies."

The rest of the day was spent following big wind and borehole, leaving big leads untouched. At one point the wind was so strong that 2 meters of flagging tape was blowing horizontally. Nester's footprints and grafitti were everywhere, and the Muslim call to prayer could be heard from a radio in a camp below one of the many entrances. Where the nesters had marked "No. 1" the intrepid trio ran down the passage, survey tap in hand, keeping their cartographic commitment happy with lots of numbers. Then, horrors, they had to crawl (or at least stoop, for 10 feet, before intersecting alarge walking passage with the words "X-file" on the wall. More walking passage, fissurely ramps, and tricky climbs followed, and once again good leads were left behind, until, with the hour getting late, they turned around and headed out, taking a few more survey shots as they went, exitingthe cave after midnight.

The walk back was enlivened by an encounter with a viper, residing at thigh level, not 6 inches from the trail, and a swarm of ants on a critical handhole during a short climb. The crew returned to base camp at 2:30 AM, dehydrated, and happy. Survey total? 1.3 km!

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Page last updated 3/8/00