The expedition has now mostly returned from the field nursing a few scratches and bruises and one dislocated shoulder (relocated and recovering well). Initial results are as follows:
21km of new cave passage were explored, surveyed, photographed and recorded.
In the Hidden Valley, a total 12.5km of new passage was discovered surveyed and photographed over a vertical range of 380m. This is particularly interesting, being in a previously blank area of limestone on the eastern side of the mountain Gunung Api, over 2km away from any part of the Whiterock/Clearwater system.
In the Clearwater Cave System, 6.8km were added to the surveyed length of the system, predominantly in the higher level Creedence Series at 480m a.sl. There was also a new large chamber, named Eureka, found in the Cave of the Winds part of the system, heading towards Racer Cave. The newly explored passages take the overall surveyed length of the Clearwater System to 222km.
The project to connect Cave of the Winds (part of Clearwater), Lagang’s Cave and Racer Cave came very close in several areas. The closest was either side of a constricted sump, where hammering could be heard from both sides and radio contact was made. In the process, a lot of useful new surveying and resurveying were carried out, adding to the knowledge of the relationship between the caves, which should guarantee the connections on a future expedition. 1.3km of new survey were added to Lagang’s Cave, making it just under 8km total length, and 430m were added to Racer Cave, making the total length 6.7km.
The Sarawak Chamber bolt Climb reached 80m above the floor, where a short passage was entered. Unfortunately this dropped back into the main passage and did not continue as hoped. There is potentially another lead further into the main chamber, however.
The National Geographic Photographer Carsten Peter and Journalist Neil Shea collected lots of material for their assignment, as did writer David Rose for his forthcoming book.
A programme of sampling and observational data collection was carried out under the supervison of Dr. Andrew Farrant as part of the ongoing study of the geomorphology and speleogenesis of the Mulu caves.
The team of twenty-eight were led by Andy Eavis and comprised members from the UK, Germany, USA and Belgium plus our hosts at Sarawak Forestry.
More detailed results will be published on the website www.mulucaves.org
and in the full expedition report when published.
The expedition was greatly assisted by National Park Management, staff and local people and wishes to acknowledge:
The Chief Minister of Sarawak
The Sarawak State Secretary
The Director of Forests, Sarawak
Protected Areas & Biodiversity Conservation Unit, Sarawak Forestry Corporation
Gunung Mulu National Park Management & Staff
Local organisers and assistants
Oswald Braken Tisen
Richard Hi (Tropical Adventure)
The expedition is very grateful for the support of the following sponsors and organisations.
Five Ten Ltd.
Ghar Parau Foundation
Mark Wright Training Ltd