Author Topic: Update from the China Caves Project 2015  (Read 5096 times)

Offline Heatlump

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Update from the China Caves Project 2015
« on: November 24, 2015, 02:04:10 pm »
Mark Sims last seen entering wet room with laxatives.
Mark Richardson has been sent to help but has not returned for some time.
Morale is low; we fear the worst.
We must soldier on with out them. 

Offline Heatlump

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Re: Update from the China Caves Project 2015
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2015, 02:27:47 pm »
On a different note....

The team has been in Weixin for a week now. The taller members of the team are a constant amazement to the locals with phone cameras being pointed their direction as soon as they step outside! A total of over 11km of new cave passage has been surveyed so far in 8 fully surveyed caves. Some truly spectacular passages photographed and surveyed, and some equally spectacular Chinese rubbish dumps and fetid sumps. The team will be moving, in the next few days, to a new area 2 hours away by car to continue exploring the large list of leads.


Update 2: Mark Richardson has returned. He looks pale.....
« Last Edit: November 24, 2015, 02:39:29 pm by Heatlump »

Offline Badlad

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Re: Update from the China Caves Project 2015
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2015, 02:34:19 pm »
This has been a fascinating area of China to visit and one we may not fully appreciate until we reflect on the trip back home.  Weixin in north-eastern Yunnan province has probably seen few foreign visitors.  I've not seen one western face in three weeks - other than those ugly mugs of the Yorkies and Badgers.  What I have seen is a dull grey part of the world developing at a phenomenal rate. This isn't your Beijing or Shanghai this is 'no ones ever heard of' rural China.  At every turn there is development, development, development.  The mountainous valleys are overwhelmed with strip development, roads, concrete, houses, concrete, quarries, viaducts, tunnels and much more concrete.  Every journey from base to the caves involves 'heart in your mouth' overtaking of an endless line of grinding lorries moving 'stuff', mostly gravel, from one place to another.  It's so overwhelming to see, especially if you worry about leaving the lights on at home - don't.  We're never going to save the planet!

You can't blame the people they're just doing what we all did during the industrial revolution - except we never had plastic back then.  What a friendly, polite, lovely race of people they are even though the language barrier prevents real social interactions, for most of us anyway.  And the consumer society has taken hold where every other shop is full of colourful fashions and the rest mobile phones.  Of course the diet takes a little getting used to as the earlier post suggests and it is true that one could starve to death if one doesn't learn to eat with chop sticks.

But what of the caves that brought us to this Chinese backwater.  Well some are full of rubbish there is no denying, in others we have not been the first, as ancient nitrate works, stal mining, budha statues, roads etc all testify to previous visitors.  But we have seen some great caves, 50m diameter chambers, forests of caramel coloured rockets of stal, grand sweeping passages and draughts which blow your clothes off.  12km surveyed in eight days so far, and virgin stuff too, but this is the least promising of the two areas.  As I am waiting to fly home tomorrow the rest of the team are set to move to a new area where massive rivers sink and a tienkeng 600x300x200m await investigation.  I kinda wish I was staying another week, oh well, Leck Fell on Sunday anyone.

Offline Alex

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Re: Update from the China Caves Project 2015
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2015, 02:40:22 pm »
I am definitely trying to get out there myself, been speaking to Mad Phil a bit but seemed to have lost contact with him (maybe he just don't want me after all?)

I don't suppose anyone can PM a number for him, as he rarely seems to check his e-mail.

Thanks.

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Offline MarkS

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Re: Update from the China Caves Project 2015
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2015, 03:27:01 pm »
Quick update before bed. Today we had our first day in the new area that Tim described above. Again, the locals have been extremely welcoming and we've already visited 100 m high canyon passages containing a huge river and massive fossil passages disappearing into the hillside. Oh, and a large hydroelectric power station in an enormous passage with a skylight above. Looking forward to following a huge draft down some pitches tomorrow.

Offline Roger W

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Re: Update from the China Caves Project 2015
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2015, 04:16:43 pm »
Photos, please!
"That, of course, is the dangerous part about caves:  you don't know how far they go back, sometimes... or what is waiting for you inside."   JRR Tolkein: "The Hobbit"

Offline Alex

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Re: Update from the China Caves Project 2015
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2015, 04:36:18 pm »
Sounds fantastic!
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Offline Mark R

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Re: Update from the China Caves Project 2015
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2015, 02:39:22 pm »
Followed that draft today- half a kilometre of some of the best caving we have ever done and clocked up 5 more leads as well as the continuing main river passage with a full on wind blowing out of the 20m X 10m way on :)
One of the other two groups found a kilometre or so of train tunnel sized passage which they will be returning to tomorrow, the other have been exploring the provinces largest tiankeng finding a deserted village and some nice cave in the process.

Oh yes- had an a cracking Chinese for tea too ;)

Internet is not the most reliable but will get round to posting some pictures ASAP.

Offline Badlad

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Re: Update from the China Caves Project 2015
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2015, 02:46:27 pm »
Great stuff  :thumbsup: - how I wish I was still there  :weep:

Offline Pegasus

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Re: Update from the China Caves Project 2015
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2015, 03:22:27 pm »
Great stuff  :thumbsup: - how I wish I was still there  :weep:

Me too - sounds fantastic. 

Offline Pegasus

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Re: Update from the China Caves Project 2015
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2015, 04:02:29 pm »


 ;D

Offline Badlad

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Re: Update from the China Caves Project 2015
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2015, 04:41:49 pm »
Wrong group?  This is a photo of the pre-expedition expedition which scanned a newly discovered chamber.  Photo of the main expedition group who are all a lot younger to follow  ;D
« Last Edit: November 28, 2015, 05:07:56 pm by Badlad »

Offline Badlad

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Re: Update from the China Caves Project 2015
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2015, 05:27:45 pm »
The full team and fan club!


Offline MarkS

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Re: Update from the China Caves Project 2015
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2015, 03:01:57 pm »
Another successful day in Yunan.

One team visited by far the smallest (about 180x80 m and over 50 m deep!) of the three tienkengs nearby, and the drafting stream passage mentioned above was explored and surveyed down to the rather impressive main river passage at the bottom: 30 m wide and 110 m high.

As requested and promised, a few photos will appear shortly, but Chinese WiFi and Tapatalk don't seem to be compatible enough for uploading, so they'll be emailed and hopefully posted soon.

All are in the stream passage cave - the first is a traverse near the entrance, the second and third are in the streamway passage, and the last is where the inlet meets the main river.

Tomorrow has some river taming in store :-)

Offline MarkS

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Re: Update from the China Caves Project 2015
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2015, 03:51:41 pm »
Further exploration in the stream passage yielded around 600 m of cave, and the team were stopped at a pitch with a large amount of water going down it. The team tackling the 160 m high main resurgence surveyed just over 1 km of enormous river passage, with only 1 "up" reading smaller than 100 m. Elsewhere another group surveyed 400 m of passage in two smaller caves (in still ongoing), making our total surveyed passage over 2km for the day.

We'll sleep well tonight (assuming no more 3am firework displays).

Offline Badlad

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Re: Update from the China Caves Project 2015
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2015, 04:53:13 pm »
A couple of photos hot off the pigeon from China.  MarkS may explain more although they are 8 hours ahead.

   

Offline Roger W

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Re: Update from the China Caves Project 2015
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2015, 07:32:02 pm »
Great stuff!  Keep the news coming.    :thumbsup:
"That, of course, is the dangerous part about caves:  you don't know how far they go back, sometimes... or what is waiting for you inside."   JRR Tolkein: "The Hobbit"

Offline adam

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Re: Update from the China Caves Project 2015
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2015, 03:18:19 pm »
A sentence from each of the expeditioneers:

Another adventure comes to a close. We've successfully made it through two sets of Chinese airport security, just. We are looking forward to the subtropical climes of England, and bowel movements returning to normal.  We are all going delirious thinking about the foods we will eat on our return and can't wait for binging on Yorkshire Tea. We have been warmly welcomed back to explore other areas of the county by the local government, who were very impressed with our achievements. The big river was eventually tamed and has been explored from sink to resurgence. Maximum spice was achieved on several occasions.

We should probably add that over the three weeks a total of 20.21 km of passage was explored.  :bounce:

   
Just another cave; these pictures show the resurgence of the now tamed river. Only 160 m high! :)

Offline AdrianTurner

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Re: Update from the China Caves Project 2015
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2015, 08:50:59 pm »
A few more photos to whet appetites....



 




 


« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 09:23:29 pm by Pegasus »

Offline JasonC

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Re: Update from the China Caves Project 2015
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2015, 09:03:30 pm »
Wow.... nice work  :thumbsup:

Offline Roger W

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Re: Update from the China Caves Project 2015
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2015, 09:37:36 am »
Excellent stuff...    :thumbsup:
"That, of course, is the dangerous part about caves:  you don't know how far they go back, sometimes... or what is waiting for you inside."   JRR Tolkein: "The Hobbit"

Offline TomTom

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Re: Update from the China Caves Project 2015
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2015, 11:19:45 am »
Seems to be a recurring entrance shaped theme :)



But I've never been filmed walking to a cave so much in my life


Offline Mark R

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Re: Update from the China Caves Project 2015
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2015, 08:32:29 am »
A few more pics. Thank you to all the patient flash holders, models and hangers around who helped make them!





















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Offline Heatlump

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Re: Update from the China Caves Project 2015
« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2016, 10:03:13 am »
Here's a trailer-esque film I put together from clips taken on the expedition: