The 2006 J2 Expedition



The 2006 J2 Expedition

2006 J2 Expedition Announcement.

Announcing the 2006 J2 Expedition! We are currently planning to field the expedition during the following dates: Monday, April 3 - Friday, May 12, 2006.

This year's expedition will be smaller in scope than the last several. We are planning a shorter stay in thefield and more focused activities, aimed at improving the route in J2, especially through the dangerous breakdown at -1070 m, and establishing Camp 3 at the current end of exploration to push onward.

A new technology that we hope to test this year will be hydropower for underground camps. If we are successful, we should be able to recharge drill batteries and lights in cave. Bart Hogan is working on rechargeable lithium-polymer batteries for the drills. We also hope to have some kind of cave-to-surface communication system to help coordinate moving people and equipment into and out of cave camp. Everyone should consider bringing a light wetsuit for the lower parts of the cave. This will help reduce rigging requirements if we do not have to avoid all immersion, and we already have the ex-sump to swim through.

With any luck we will make J2 the deepest cave in Mexico and the Western Hemisphere by next May. We only have to go down another 400 meters, a little over half of what we gained in 2005, to reach that goal. Think deep!

John Kerr and Mark Minton, Co-leaders for 2006

2006 J2 Expedition Updates

J2 is an international caving expedition to the cave by the same name in Oaxaca, Mexico. It was organized by Mark Minton and John Kerr. J2 is quite possible the missing link between Sistema Cheve and the Cheve resurgence, which has been dye traced at a depth of -2,500 meters. This year's J2 expedition is six weeks long, and began at the beginning of April. The cavers there include Bill Stone and Al Warild.

Bill Steele will keep us updated with the latest news from the expedition.

2006 J2 Expedition Links

A related article from the National Geographic about this expedition.

Rob & Paula's Caving Expedition to Mexico (link proposed by Martin Sluka)

Deep Caves of Mexico 2005 (link proposed by Martin Sluka)

UPDATE: 28 Apr. 2006.

From Micheal D. Frazier's email (26 Apr. 2006), via Bill Steele:
The breakdown is in the past, mark pass it and now we are further in, but all of you know this is not a very easy cave so now we found another sump, the good thing its that we have a lead that already goes further than the sump. This lead is in an upper level so we are pushing to return to the main stream to keep going deep. The cave now its warmer so i really think to thye people that its coming to bring Nylon and not pvc. But the cave still cold in the upper parts.

A day by day coverage
There is a day by day coverage - in portuguese - (including some photos) to the NEC site:

UPDATE: 30 Apr. 2006.

From Yvonne Droms:
Mark Minton and I just returned from the J2 expedition tonight. The expedition is still underway for another 2 weeks. Here is a bit of history and a synopsis of this year's J2 expedition and its results so far: The aim of the J2 project is to find an entrance into the vast, unknown middle section of the Cheve System (Oaxaca, Mexico), which has a proven potential of over 2500 meters of depth. In 2004, a new high potential entrance was found (J2) and explored to a depth of -450 m. The 2005 expedition extended its depth to -1100 m. The 2006 effort, still underway, is being conducted by an international team consisting of nearly 40 cavers from 9 countries (USA, Mexico, Poland, Australia, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Ireland, and Switzerland). As one of its first priorities, the 2006 team installed a phone wire from surface base camp to the limit of exploration (more than 6 km of wire), which allowed for instantaneous updates of progress from the cave. Continuing exploration beyond the 2005 limit revealed a massive breakdown choke which was ultimately passed. Beyond, large passage continued until a deep sump was reached at -1193 m. Efforts are continuing to explore alternate routes in search of a bypass to this sump. The expedition, which started April 3, will end on May 12, 2006.

Yvonne Droms and Mark Minton
for the US Deep Caving Team

For any future updates about this ongoing expedition please check the main WCN page ( ).

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