AMCS Activities Newsletter

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AMCS Activities Newsletter

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Title:
AMCS Activities Newsletter
Series Title:
AMCS Activities Newsletter
Creator:
Association for Mexican Cave Studies
Publisher:
Association for Mexican Cave Studies
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Language:
English

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Subjects / Keywords:
Regional Speleology ( local )
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serial ( sobekcm )
Location:
Mexico

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General Note:
Edited by Dale Pate, Peter Sprouse, and Terri Treacy Sprouse, 94 pagesContents: Mexico News, compiled by Peter Sprouse -- Long and Deep Cave Lists, compiled by Peter Sprouse -- Sea Caves of Punta Banda / Dave Bunnell and Carol Vesely -- Sótano de Vasquez / Patty Mothes and Roy Jameson -- Cave Dwelling Rhamdia / Doyle Mosier -- Peña Colorada / Bill Stone -- Gruta del Precipicio / Bill Steele -- Cueva de la Tía Rosa / Jim Pisarowicz -- Huautla Project / Mark Minton -- Mexican Cave Biology / James Reddell -- Dos Aguas Expedition / Mike Fischesser -- Sumidero San Bernardo / Steve Knutson -- Zoquitlán 83 / Patrick Bestgen -- Plaza de Gallos / Ramón Espinosa -- Book Reviews. The Association for Mexican Cave Studies is a non-profit, volunteer organization whose goals are the collection and dissemination of information concerning Mexican caves. The AMCS publishes a Newsletter, Bulletin, and Cave Report Series which are available to any sincerely interested, conservation-minded person.
Restriction:
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
No. 14 (1984)
General Note:
See Extended description for more information.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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K26-00362 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.362 ( USFLDC Handle )
12787 ( karstportal - original NodeID )

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PUNTABANDADOSAGUAS"'>.;IPLAZADEGALLOS----/HUAUTLAPLACESINTHISISSUE),PRECIPICIOPOTREROREDONDOSANBERNARDOZOQUITLAN

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AMesACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERlumbn14September1984(:mIMENTARY Publisher Assoclal,unforMexi(,a!l Cave Studieswithas:-i..,tanct: fron1Willi.1mftussdlEditorsDale Pate, Peter ::'pn.,I;' Terri TreacyStaff\\aty Arens. SteveGill Ediger,HillElliull. Paul Fambro,.1il"i',dy,Mark Mi!lto!l, Bill Mixon .l.!lIwain Whitis Translations L1ty Arells.Pna:'PWlISC.Alejandro Villagomez222243640445661667376UO8288fykxlcuNeN,.Long al,dDu'i'CavI'svI'Mc.,ico SeaCa,es"rPunl;,Sotallo d,Va:,'1U1'zCave Dwelling]Ol(lm,Jw'ews from Belize Pena C"lorad" Crll ta del I'recipici(, Cueva de la T ia Rosa HuautlaProjedMexican Cave Biology Dos AguasExpeditionSumidero San Bcrnardo Zoquitl,;"ily make it"IIthatmuchfaster. Manythank,t.,"ilq",,.'IIITil,utors whosubmittedarticlesmonth,af!,"...lIl1.;JV,'been waiting patiently for the results.tilfhi" i'$u"\'01'will n,adaboutcaving in several f"mili"r area:'I.:ill.,"tOile haswrittenan exeellen!of,\plotal.ioninthewater-filled cavernsIwl"wth,' [lu"lAtla Plateau, while Mark Minton bring;; thing,: up to .I"t"onthecontinu"dpenetrationofthe.high 'aVl's"fIluautla. Along withaccountsofestab, lish!'d cavmgseveral articles focus on someIIf',,'Dave Hunnell and Carol Veselv have bef'n leading trips to Haja Californiato'hesea cavesofPuntaBanda. This newtypeofMexi f'a', ravingoftenrequires a great dealofeffortfightingIJ...just toenterthecaves,butonce insideyoumay find seals IOllJlgingabf'utontherocks.r..W:eFiseht'sser\articleon()os Aguas, Michoacan. illtro ducesanothnnew Iimest.onc karst area. TheS" newprojf'dsdemonstrateollee againthatthereisstill gwal pott-nti,,! for cave discoveries in Mexico.Jnadditionto themanyfeature articles in this issue.othercaving events in Mexico are covered with all cxp3nded Mexico News section -nineteenpages worth! Thus it isapparentthatthere is alotofcaving goingouin Mexico, in fact far morethanyou see presenter! here. Everyone caving in Mexico is en. eouraged tocontrihutearticles, maps, photographs, and illustrationsforpublicationinfutureissues.theEditors The AMCS Activities Newsletter is publishedbytheAssociation for Mexican Cave Studies, anon-profitgroupdedicatedtotheconser vation andstudyofthecavesofMexico. Articles, maps,andphotographsoncaving and speleology in Mexico are solicited. A listofpublications and prices is availableonrequest. AssociationforMexican CaveStudiesP.O. Box7672Austin,Texas78713Copyright1984byAMCS MembershipCommittee.PrintingbytheSpeleo Press CoverPhoto:LookingouttheentrancetoCuevadeRayodel Sol para el Mar. (Dave Bunnell) Frontispiece:TheGorgeinNita Nanta during high water.(JimSmith)Backispiece:Top-lookingoutmainentranceofResaca Violento. (Dave Bunnell)Bottom-SumpI in Pena CoIorada.(JohnZumrick)Back Cover:Upperlevel passage inGrutadel Preci picio.(KeithHeuss)

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MexicoNevvsCHIAPASInApril1984,NormaEdithHatchandDoyleMosiervisitedanapparentlyunexploredcavesouthofLaTrinitariainsouthernChiapasnearEjidoPlandeAyala(I556'45"N 9204'l2"W).Theirprimarypurposeonthetripwastocollectcave-dwellingcatfishofthegenusRhamdiaforDoyle'sresearchattheUniversityofTexas.CuevadePlandeAyalaisamoderatelylargecavewithfewformations.Thefirst100metersofthecavearedrywalkingpassage,whichslopesgraduallytoapool1meterdeepand4meterswide.Alargepopulationofblind,depigmentedRhamdiawasfoundinthepool.Thecavewasexploredforadistanceofabout1kilometerthroughwaterpassagecontainingafewsmallcascades.Theystoppedwherethewaterbecametoodeeptowadeandairspacedecreasedtoabout30centimeters.Therewasgoodairflowatthatpoint.Twopitsapproximately25metersdeepwerealsolocated,buttheydidnothavetimetoexplorethem.Botharesaidtocontaincatfish.Othercavesarereportedinthearea,andareturntripisplannedfor1985.Source:DoyleMosierAzulthatwasshownonanoldtopographicmapashavingaPuentedeTierra.AnewPemexroadrunsabout10kilometerswestfromnearAguaAzultoVenustianoCarranzaandLaCueva.ThisroadcrossestheRioXumula,andupstream,tothesouth,theriverrunsundergroundforapproximately2kilometers.Onlythedownstream(resurgence)entrancewasvisited.Itisahigh,triangularentrancesetinalOO-meter-tallheadwall.Theexitingriverfillsthecave,leavingnoplacetogetoutofthewater.Atapointabout80metersin,thereisaninletontherightside.Anestimated4cubicmeterspersecondofwaterflowsaroundaboulder,andthepassagecouldbeseentocontinue.Exploringfartheroninthemainpassage,theyreachedtwoexposedrocks120metersfromtheentrance.Lookingahead,thepassagecouldbeseencurvingtotheright,andfallingwatercouldbeheard.Althoughtheupstreamentrancewasnotvisited,localsdescribeditasbeing5meterswide,3metershigh,andwithalotofwaterflowingin.TherearealsoreportedtobemanypitsandcavesaroundthevillageofLaCueva.Inthefirstpartof1983,DickCruse,CharlesFromen,andothercaversfromHouston,TexaslocatedandexploredvariouscavesintheareaaroundCuatrocienegasinwesternCoahuila.IntheArroyoelMarquesnorthofLamadrid,theywereshowntheCuevadelaSumbadora,ashortcavecontainingalargeriver.Theentrancepassageisanoverflowroutethatintersectstheactiveriver.InboththeupstreamanddownstreamdirectionstheItaliancaversfromtheCirculoEspeleologicoRomanorecentlyconcludedamonthlongexpeditionintheareaaroundPresadelMalpaso.Theyhadverygoodresults,includingtheexplorationofSumiderodelPechoBlanco,estimatedtobe450metersdeep.Itcontainsanumberofdrops,thelongestbeingal20-metercascade.Alargepitinthearea,CuevadelaLucha,wasnotexploredduetoitsdifficultaccess.Source:CarlosLazcanoInMarch1983,CanadiansMikeBoonandRandySpahlinvestigatedasectionoftheRioXumulanearAgua2Source:CanadianCOAHUILARandySpahl,Caver15:2

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CompiledbyPeter S. Sprouseriversumps.Bothofthesesumpswerefree-divedbyandwerepushedtomore sumps.SouthwestofnearTanquetheHoustoncaverslocatedGrutadeTanqueadryphreaticroom.Thiswas mapped byAustincaversJimDuringatripinthespringofLindaElliottandDavidMcKenzieinvestigatedcavesatwestofthecityofandabout6kilometerswestoftherivercaveBocadelR!oApetlanca.TheGrutadeAclalaiswellknownlocally.Ithasseveralentrancesandislocatedaboveamajorsumiderocave.Apitinthebackofthegrutamayconnecttothesumidero.TheSumiderodeAclaladrainsabout40squarekilometersofavolcanicvalley.Severalarroyosmeetand emptyintothenormallydry20-meter-highand10-meter-wideentrance.Thecaverswereabletoexploreabout100metersofpassage.TheydescendedaclimbCOLIMAGUERRERODuringtheMarch 1983SMESexpeditiontotheCerroGrandearea(seeAMCSActivitiesNewsletterFrenchcaversClaudeChabertandNicoleBoullieraidedtheMexicancaversintheexplorationofvariouspitsandsinksnearEITerreroand LaEsclosetotheJaliscostateline.PerhapsthemostsignificantoftheseisResumiderodelBarbechodeAmador.ThiscavewasexploredbyVictorandCarlosLazcanodowndropsof17and76meterstoanobstructeddropat-105meters.PozodelPotrerowasexploredby ChabertandGranadosdownfourdropstoaterminationat-65meters.IntheFrenchparticipatedintheexplorationoftwenty-fourpitsandsinks.Source:ClaudeGrottesetGouffresNo. 89Peterand Mike Warton on 3 March1984.TheAustingroupalsoinvestigatedacavelessbrecciapseudokarstnorthof35kilometerswestofCuatrocienegas.Source:PeterSprousestlmp(free)1""tlraoSketcht>yChllrlesFromen.1April1Y
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L,\VfSN[AR UTERRERO,COLIMA1.,..,IlI"'O.1f'll'(.ASl'll.ASCUATAS"/'1"0""-".1C'IW"",!,..__'Source:DavidMcKenziedownpolishedboulderstoapool,thenstoppedatasecondwhichwouldrequirerope.Thisalsoendedupinaandtheycouldseeapassage20metershighand5meterswidecontinuingovertoafarshoreofboulders.Noticeableairflowblewoutofthecave.EntrancetoSumidero(DavidMcKenzie)4deAclala.InOctober1980andJanuaryFrenchcaversPhillipeAckermann,AntoineandGenevieveRouilloninvestigatedcavesnearthetuwuofPantitlan.ArivercavecalledSumiderodeAtliliakantoaat-230meters.Fromtheentrancetheyfollowed500metersofpassagetolargeroom.Thiswasfollowedbyapollutedlake,afterwhichwasamazesection.Thenthecavedescendedtwowetpitchesof15meters.Anotherdropinthefullforceofthewaterpresentedsomedifficultiesduetofloodwaterscominginfromthesurface.Boltingoutawayfromthecascadewasnecessary.Aconsiderableamountofpassagebelowthisdropwastraversedtothefinalsump.Afterexitingthesumideroononetrip,theywereaccusedbythelocalsofdisturbingvampirebatsinthecave,causingthemtoswarmoutandattacklivestock.InJanuary1981aresurgencecavecalledGrutadeTecuanapawasexploredontheothersideofaridge.Thiscaveapparentlyhaswaterflowingfromtheentranceyearround.Itisabout900meterslong,andendsinasumponlyafewhundredmetersfromSumiderodeAtliliakan.Source:GenevieveRouillon

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;1'!',=o0:e.Z''"I

PAGE 10

,A SUMIOERO DEATLlLIAKANoIsiphon+23m100IGRUTADETECUANAPAPANTITLAN, GRO.TOPOGRAFlADQENERQ1981P.ACKERMANNA.ROUILLONG.ROUILLON

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HIDALGOTwointerestingcaveswerevisitednearChapulhuacaninthespringof1982byTraceyArchey,FrankEndres,DavidMcKenzie,andJamesReddell.AttheedgeoftheRanchoelTenango,CuevadelArbolGrandewasexploredforabout100meterstoadepthof25meters.Thepassagewas3meterswideand1to3metershigh,andhadgoodairflow.Explorationstoppedata5meterdropthatwouldrequirerigging.Downinacanyon1kilometerfromtherancho,thespringcaveGrutasdeTenangowasexploredandsurveyed.Itismostlywaterpassage,averaging1meterdeep.SeveraldeeppitsinthedolinasaroundChapulhuacanthatwereseeninthe1960'sbyJamesReddellandJohnFishremainunexplored.Source:JamesReddellJALISCOMembersoftheSociedadMexicanadeExploracionesSubterraneascontinuedworkintheCerroGrandeareainApril1984.Resumidero(Gruta)deToxinwasexploredfor3kilometerstoasump.Badairinthelowersectionmayinhibitpushingthesump.Thecaveisverybeautiful,andthepassagesareoften30meterswideand40metershigh.Thecaveislargelyhorizontal,withonlyonedrop.Thepossibleresurgenceforthecave,LaTaza,wasdivedbyCarlosLazcano.Hewasabletopushitfor40meters,CIiAPULlIUACAN,III1lAI.
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SurveyinginResumiderodeToxin.(CarlosLazcano)whereheencounteredaconstrictionat12metersdepth.Twopaleo-resurgencesremaintobeexploredintheLaTazaarea.FifteensmallcavesandpitswereexploredonCerrodeEnmedio,northofToxin.Source:CarlosLazcanoMICHOACANDavidMcKenzieandLindaElliottmadebiologicalcollectionsincavesaroundDosAguas,Michoacan,inMarch1984(seearticleonthisareabyMikeFischesser).AccessingtheareafromCoalcomanonthewestside,theyinvestigatedanapparentlyunexploredcavealongthesideofa500-meterwidedolinaattheedgeoftheplateau,onthesouthsideoftheroad.Aslopingpassagedescendedtoadepthofabout25meters,whereanincomingstreampoureddown ashaft,suggestingwetsuitswouldbeneededforapush.A newgenusofcricketwasdiscoveredinthecave.OntheroadgoingnorthfromTorrecillas,theyexploredanumberofsinksnearLaAlberquita,oneofwhich,CuevadeLaAlberquita,containedawater-crawlthatwasnotpushed.SoutheastofDosAguas,near8PuertoHondo,twosinkingarroyoswerefollowed.Thefirstcontainedaflowingstreamthatsankintograveland,fartheron,cametoaheadwall.Heretheyfoundafissuredropthatappearedtobeabout5metersdeep,withnodetectableairflow.Theotherarroyoledtoasmallentrancecontainingwashedbouldersandapitestimatedtobe15metersdeep.Airflowcouldbefelt,anditseemedtoreverseeverythreeminutesorso.Source:DavidMcKenzieCUEVADELACASCADACHICAI
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CUEVADELASIERRAMADRENUEVO LEON, MEXICOSURVEYSEPT.-DEC.19828YfL.COHENT.PALOMOIS.SELOWITZ!DRAFTINGBYG.VENIANDD. WHITIS10------,!JImetersoENTRANCE(j-

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SIERRALAVIGAAreaLocationCOAHUILA-NUEVOLEONMapAco102030IIIIKilometersSanJodelasBoquilluSierralaViga"'-Sae Map B CuevadelA9ua /\.....400800, INm,MapBoICuevadelPinomanyspeleothems.Itisaneasy,Sunday-typecave.CuevadelaSierraMadreislocatedaboutonehour'swalksouthofthecemeteryinthevillageofSanPedro,intheGarzaGarciadistrict.FromthecemeteryatPueblaandJimenezstreets,adirtroadleadspastthepantheonalonganarroyoontheleft.Atrailthenleadssouthtowardahillwitharockoutcropontop.Themeanderingtrailskirtstherightsideofthehill,thenbearslefttothecaveentranceattherockoutcrop.Thecaveisaseriesofinterconnectingroomsontwolevels.Lowerlevelcrawlsactuallyconstituteathirdlevel.Fromtheentranceroomheadingsouth,apassageontheleftleadstothemainportionsofthecave.Aslotinthefloorofthispassageleadstoalowersection20meterslongwithnovisibleoutletThemainpassagenarrowsandreachesarockbridge,givingaccesstoabalcony.Thiscanbefreeclimbed,ordescendedwithahandlinetoreachthelowerlevel.Fromthispointthecavecontinueseastwithnumeroussideleads,generallyheadingdown.Attherearofthecaveisanoldflowstonecanopy,theeasternmostpointinCuevadelaSierraMadre.Source:LarryCohenSituatedonahighridgeoftheSierralaVigasouthofMonterreyaretwocavesthathavebeenvisitedbynumerousgroupsofTexascaversovertheyears,butneveradequatelydocumented.InJanuary1984,agroupofAustincaversmappedandsketchedthesecaves.A900-meterascentuptheridgesouthofSanJosedelasBoquilIasisrequiredtoreachthecavearea.CuevadelAguaisacomplexbreakdowncaveseveralhundredmeterslong.Thecavehasthreeentrancesandiswidelyknowninthearea,anditisreputedtobeveryextensive.Thecaveyieldedvariousinvertebrates,includ-METERSCUEVADELPINOroughmemorysketchP.Sprouse,D.Broussard,J.Feely21January1984o510IIImetersNm,LP10

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DrawnbyP.Sprouse&O.Pat"CUEVA DEL AGUAAMCS..lowe,Entranc.Ele.etlon3080meier.Pet.rSprouseJimFlySanJosedelasBoquillas.NuevoleonSurveyedandSketched21January1984DonBrouss8rd0.1.Pateol:=5LMete"10 15357330",E.2801850"'. NUTIICoordlnatingaprobablynewpseudoscorpion.AfewdozenmeterstothesouthisCuevadelPino,aformationcavethatdipssteeplytothesouth.Althoughonlyabout150metersofpassagewereseen,thereisastrongwarmbreezethatblowsouttheentrance,suggestingthattheremaybeahiddenwayon.Source:PeterSprouseSOTANODELAESCONDIDAZaragoza.NuevoLIon.MexicoSwnt.Indtape.......y20July 1-984P. Sproule&O.Whitia Oepth:73...t...mlt.rloAclusterofnewcavesandpitshavebeendiscoveredonthesoutheastsideofCerroelViejo,7kilometerseastofthetownofZaragoza.AgroupofTexascaversconsistingofAudreyCole,JimFeely,PeterSprouse,TerriSprouse,BarbraVinson,DuwainWhitis,andSaraWhitischeckedtheareaaroundthevillageofLainmid-July1984.Onekilometersouthwestofthevillage,justaftertheroadfromZaragozacreststheridge,alineofsinksisencountered.AsinkIOUmeterssouthoftheroadcontainsthesmallentrancetoCuevadeE1Viejo,a162-meter-longcavethatdescends20406011

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meters,, ,ICUEVADELDIABLOLosCanelos, Nuevo Leon,MexicoSuuntos and tape survey,SFebruary1983,byLawrenceCohenand EduardoAlanisLealWREEduardoknewofapithighontheridgesouthofLosCanelos,soinOctoberofthesameyearagroupconsistingofJimFeely,ErnieGarza,JimPisarowicz,PeterSprouse,TerriSprouse,andMaryStandiferwentdownfromAustintolocateit.Eduardohadn'tseenthepitsincehewasaboy,soheenlistedhisbrotherandaNmEduardoAlanisLealandLarryCohenhaveexploredtwocavesatLosCanelos,wheretheRioSanJuanleavestheCarionLaBoca,eastofCuevadeLaBoca.CuevadelDiablo,asmallcaveabout200meterssoutheastofthevillage,wasmappedinFebruary1983.Itisnotfarfromawarmspringusedbythelocalsforbathing.AlsovisitedwasCuevadeMacedonia,northofthevillage.alongbedding.Twotothesouthisasmallpit,S6taoodeEscargot.OnthesideofahillonthesoutheastsideofLaEscondida,localboysshowedthecaversthreepits.'Jr.,c.ofthese,S6tanodeLaEscondidB.exploredtoatotaldepthof73,neters.Ithasaflutedentranceof50meters,followedbyasteeprubbleslopetoaterminalroomandparalleldome.Thesecondpitonthehillsidewasverywide,andmaybe30metersdeep.Thethirdwasnarrower,andseemedmuchdeeper.Source:PeterSprouse10CUEVADEELVIEJOINuevoLeon,MexicoI162metersDepth:64metersSuunto
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friendtohelpfindit.Aftermakingthe700-meterclimbuptheridge,theywereunabletolocateit,sayingtheentrancewasverysmallandcouldbehiddenbyleaves.Source:PeterSprouseAustincaversCraigBittinger,RonGernsbacher,andArnulfoGomezwerevisitingGrutadeCarrizalinlateJuly1984whenanunfortunateaccidentoccured.CraigandRonwereinthefirstwarmlake50metersinsidethecave,andArnulfodecidedtotakeaphotograph.Hesetuphiscameraonautomaticandbeganrunningdowntheslopetogetinthepicture.Justthentheothers'mooned'him,andheslippedandfell.Hethoughthehadasprainedankle,butuponexaminationbackinAustinitwasdeterminedthatthelong,thinlegbonewasbrokenjustabovetheankle.ThemainroadintoCarrizalnowhasapermanentlylockedgateonit,butitissaidthatbycontinuingontheroadtoCandelatoachapel,onecanfindaroadwithanunlockedirongatethatprovidesaccesstothecave.Source:CraigBittingerAreturntriptotheRIoPotosIcanyonnorthwestofHualahuiseswasmadebyAustincaversinAugust1983.ThelargeentranceseenthepreviousJanuaryturnedouttobeblind,only8metersinextent.Notfarupstream,aresurgencewasfoundonthesouthsideofthecanyon.Thewatercameoutofacollapse,butanearbyentranceledintoaboulderchokethatblewair.Fartherintothecanyon,anotherspringwasseenonthenorthside,butithadnocaveopenings.Sources:PaulFambro,MarkMintonPUEBLAAgroupofcaversfromMexico,D.F.investigateda newareaalongtheVeracruzstatelineinlateFebruary1984.TheCanoajoapanareahasadepthpotentialof1100meters,andnumerousentranceswerelocatedduringtheinitialreconnaissance.Source:CarlosInMarch1984SteveKnutson,JimPisarowicz,andMaryStandifervisitedtheareanorthof(seearticleinthisissue,andMexicoNews,AMCSActivitiesNewsletterNuon).TheywenttoE1Sumidero(orAtlcomunik),butfailedtofinda waythroughthelargelogjam.Exploringtowardstheypassedthroughafossilkarstvalleycontainingmanypits.ApromisingsumiderofoundatEIMiradorhasanentrancepit3to4secondsdeepandtakesasmallstream.JohnDeBeer,ScottLinn,andSteveKnutsonhadflownoverthepromisingCerroTzinzintepec,butanattempttohikeintoitwasthwartedbyfog.Thegroupplanstoreturntothisareain1985.Source:JimPisarowiczCaversfromCanadaandFloridaexploredvariouscavesintheJonotlaareanearCuetzalaninFebruary1983.AlongtheroadafewkilometersfromJonotla,asmallcaveinasinkholewasexplored.Upstreamledthroughalternatingwetcrawlsandwalkingsizepassagetoanotherentranceinasmallheadwallonthenorthsideofasink.Thedownstreamdirectioninthecaveprovedtobesmallandtight.OntheoppositesideoftheJonotlaroad,thecaverssurveyedSumiderodeAgueyaco,originallyexploredbyMikeBoonandothersin1981.Itisa41U-meter-longstreamcavewithentrancesatbothends(seemapinCanadianCaver15:2).Source:RandySpahl,CanadianCaver15:2OnthetriptotheJonotlaareainJanuary1981,whenSumiderodeAgueyacowasexplored,MarkMinton,KyleWalden,andLisaWilkalsoexploredasmallcavecalledCuevadela13

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SANLUIS POTOSI AgroupofCaliforniacaverscheckedanumberofcavesnearRascon,Source:PeterSprouseSource:DaveBunnellInNovember1983alargegroupofcaversfromAustinandSanMarcos,TexasassembledtoresurveySotanodeTlamaya,intheXi1itlaarea.Theoriginalsurveyfromthemid1960'shadneverbeenfullycompiledandwasindisarray.Onthistripmostofthecavewasmapped,withtheexceptionoftheverylowestportionpastthedropbelowthePinnacleDropandtheupstreamfeederintotheBigRoom.Anyonevisitingthecavecoulddoaservicebyfinishingtheseportions.A30-meter-IongcavenearLaRosalwassurveyed,anditisapparentlyoneexploredbyBillMixonmanyyearsearlier.CalledCuevadeLaRosal,itconsistsofafewsmallrooms.Significantinvertebratecollections,includinga newdipluran,weremadeinit.Alsosurveyedwas22-meter-deepSotanodeElRincon.Thispitisontheleftsideoftheroadpasttheschoolinabananagrove,andhasbeenreferredtointhepastasSotanodelosPlatanos.westofCiudadValles,inJanuary1984.Severalsmallcaveswerefound2kilometersnortheastofRascon,alongtherailroadtracksnearCasaBlanca.Oneofthesewentdowntoadepthof30metersbutthenchokedoff.Theweatherwasverycold,andtheyspottedasteamplumeonahill3kilometerssoutheastofRascon.Theychoppedtheirwayuptoanentranceleadingintoaroom20metersby30meters.Thecavecontinuedasaseriesofroomsconnectedbyflowstone-coveredfissures.Itwentdowntoadepthofabout70metersbeforeflowstonechokeditoff.Thecavehasatleast200metersofpassage,buttheydidnothavetimetosurveyit.Anothersteamplumewasseenafewhundredmetersaway,sothisgroupplanstoreturntotheareatodomorecaving.-I0_15Surwy71981""--.It.W.-.L._L."'ftllII54Do!l*25 _ClVADELACRUZCruz.TheynameditforamemorialcrossalongtheroadbetweenAgueyacoandTenextepec.Theentrancewasdugopen,revealingasmallpassagethatdroppedquicklythroughachertyupperlayeroflimestoneintoamorehomogeneouslayercontainingceilingdomes.Thecavepickedupasmallstream,andsoonthefloorbegantoshowsignsoftheconglomeratelayerthatusuallyindicatesgooddevelopmentintheCuetzalanarea.Butafterashortdropintoanothersmallstreampassage,thecaveended:upstreampinched,anddownstreamsumped.Duetotheunstablenatureoftheentrancesink,itisquestionablewhetherthiscaveisstillopen.Source:MarkMinton14

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NOTE:Sectionsareattrueelevations.length: 42m depth: 146m306012090oDEPTHBELOWDATUM[ml?10METERSSurvey:30Dec.'81G.Venisuuntos{tapeSOlANOdelRUENOMUNICIPIO deZARAGOZASANLUISPOTOSI,MEXICOoi150CorihIGeareVen;...11Januar19820017

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-""Source:MikeWartonSOTAN/TODELAI<'I)YO'"LollSabinoll, SLPSketchbyMikeVbrton21May1984TAMAULIPASrelics,whichdeservetheattentionofarchaeologists.Theyconsistofahumanfoot,withpiecesofthewrappingwhichenclosesalargenumberofmummiesfoundinacavenearChiricahin,nearthelineofSonoraandChihuahua.Thecaveisalargeone,whichthemummiesappeartofilltoadepthoffortyfeet;and,thoughintheneighborhoodamongtheIndiansaretraditionsextendingbacksome500years,thereisnothingwhichcanexplainthefillingofthecavewiththesebodies,whichappeartohavebeenpreservedbythepresenceoflargeamountsofsaltpetre.Marionwouldbeinterestedtohearfromanyonewhohasachancetofollowuponthislead.Source:MarionO.Smith-OOmA-AInlateMay1984,MikeWartonandFrankMaloneyhappeneduponanewpitwhileclimbingtoagoodvantagepointfromwhichtophotographSotanodelArroyo.Thepitisofftotheleftasoneapproachestheentranceinthearroyo.TheynameditSotanitodelArroyoNo.1.Thedropis60metersdownlight-tanflowstonewallstoadirtfloor.IntheValledelosFantasmosareanearSanFrancisco,agroupofcaversfromSanAntonioandHouston,Texas,discovereda newdeeppiton30December1981.LisaPassmorefoundtheentrancetoSotanodeTruenowhileseekingtheprivacyofaclumpofbushesneartheroadtoLaPuente.Thenextdayillnessstruckthegroup,soonlyGeorgeVenimadethedescent.Thedropwas101metersdeep,followedbyasteepslopeto-146meters.Apparently,thelocalshadbeenunawareofitsexistence.Source:GeorgeVeniSONORAMarionSmithhasdiscoveredaninterestingitemprintedintheJuly1,1864editionoftheLouisvilleJournal:JohnWilson,whohasarrivedinSanFranciscofromSonora,MexicohaswithhimafewcuriousMikeWartonandFrankMaloneyinvestigatedtheareaaroundGallitos,westofOcampointhemunicipioofTula,duringatripinlateMay1984.Theyfoundthreepitsofftheroadontopoftherange2.5kilometersnorthofGallitos.Mostofthesewerepluggedbyclay.Thedeepestreached45meters.OneofthepitsturnedouttobeSotanodelMonumento,exploredbyBillElliottandCraigRudolphin1979.GuidesfromGallitosshowedthemtwocavesneartown.Thefirst,CuevadeGa1litos,wasasmallformationcave1kilometerupthemountainonthesouthsideoftown.Thesecondcave,CuevadelManantialdeGallitos,is1kilometerwestoftownonastreamsidetrail.Itisaresurgencecave20metersabovethevalleyfloor.Cascadescanbefolloweduptothe6meter-wideand8-meter-highhorizontalentrance.Awell-decoratedpassageleads20meterstowherea30-meterhighdecorateddomeextendsofftotheright.Themainpassagedescendsfor16

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15meterstoacleardeepsumpthatwouldbeagooddivingprospect.Acolonyofvampirebatslivesintherearsection.source:MikeWartonSOTANODELMONUMENTOMunldpiodeTublSketchmapbyW.R.ElliottandD.C.Rudolph,5S4!pt.1979tight,/mPIt"..skylight, 0EntrllncePLANWRENo.2WRESOTANITOSDELMONUMENTOMuni'cipio de TuIa, Tamps. Sketches byM.Warton,May1984.No.3-30m-45mSketchbyM.WartonandF.Maloney,25May1984.CUEVADELMANANTIALDEGALLITOSMunicipiodeTula,Tamps.entranceis20mabovevalleyfloorguanosumpometers5WRE17

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Inmid-March1984,agroupofelevencaversfromTexasandColoradocontinuedworkintwomajorcavesinthePurificacionarea,northwestofCiudadVictoria.MostoftheirtimewasspentunsuccessfullypursuingleadsinSotanodeLasCalenturas,searchingforaroutearoundthemainupstreamsump,beyondwhichsubstantialcaveshouldexist.SurveyingcontinuedintheHong KongTubesintheupperportionofthecave,resultinginthediscoveryofasmallstreampassage.Unfortunately,thiscouldonlybefollowedforashortdistanceineitherdirectionbeforepinchingoff.Inthemainpartofthecave,itwasdiscoveredthatthehugeCaptain'sLoghadbeenwashedfromitsloftyperchandbrokenintwo.Newsurveyingbroughtthelengthofthecaveupto6032meters.ThelastportionoftheexpeditionwasspentatCuevadelTeco10te,7kilometerstothesoutheast.Thecavewasunusuallyclean,incontrasttothepollutedconditionsfoundonprevioustrips.Explorationwascontinuedinthemainpassage,down a20meterunexploreddropamongstmassiveformations.Thisdroppedintotrunkpassage,theIdesMarch,thatheadedtothesouth.Thispassageisdryandoneofthelargestinthecave.Numeroussideleadstakeoffinthisarea.Afternetting360metersfortheday,thesurveyleftoffatanotherdropoverlookingalargeroom.Areturntripisplannedinthenearfuturetocontinuepushingthecave.Elsewhereinthecave,aclimbatoptheWaterfallDropattheendoftheInvertedHighwayyieldedashortsectionofnicefossilpassage.Thisledtoasurprisinglylargeroomcontainingbatsandaninterestingceilinglead,perhapswherethebatscomefrom.Teco10teisnow1977meterslongand175metersdeep.Extensivesurfacereconnaissanceinthevicinitiesofbothcavesfailedtoturnupanyworthwhilenewleads.Source:MarkMinton18TwelvekilometerstothesouthsoutheastofCuevadelTeco10teliesasinkareathatwasinvestigatedbyPeterSprouseandTerriSprouseinlateMay1984.AroundthevillageofLaAsuncionisawell-developedkarstareawherea25-meterpitandasteeplydippingcave,CuevadeLaAsuncion,wereencountered.Twokilometerstothesouth,avalleynamedLasRoyaswasalsoexaminedforcaves.Twocavesandtwopitswerefound,themostpromisingofthembeingCuevadeLasRoyas.Itwasonlyexploredashortwaystoatight3-meterdrop,butgoodairflowwasdetected.Onepitentrancediscoveredwas5metersby10metersacrossandabout30metersdeep.Source:PeterSprouseVERACRUZMexicancaversworkingintheareaaroundSanSebastianintheZongolicaareahavedocumentedanumberofpits.InApril1981,SteveRobertsonandGerardoFernandezwereguidedtothesepitsbyresidentMarioGarcIa.OneofthesewasthedeepSotanodeA1pupu1uca.ItwasexploredbytheMexicancaversinDecember1982andFebruary1983..TheNahuatlnamemeans"aguaquesaleyluegoseesconde".Alsoexploredwasthe200-meterentrancedroptoSotanodeAhuihuitzcapa.Thecavewaslaterpushedtoa sumpat-515metersbyFrenchcavers(seearticlebyPhi11ipeAckermannonAhuihuitzcapaandElBoqueroninAMCSActivitiesNewsletterNo.13).ThenameisNahuatlfor"dondeseescondenlasgolondrinas".SotanoMarioGarcIa1turnedouttobea30meter-deepblindpit.SotanodeMarioGarcIa2hasbeenexploreddownan85metershaft,anditcontinues.SotanodeMarioGarcIa3isablind35meterdeeppit.Source:GerardoFernandezRuiz

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SumiderodeTzintempa\I(Bocqueron)\JS.ptlon"",..3_IP.rlelo22o_0AtlalaquindeAhuihuitzcapaSierradeZongolicaSanSebastianNITapoPA8183O...\,nJJOBJ,..R,oMoY.'lSpeluncaJan.1984SpeluncaJan.198419

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SOTANaDEALPUPULUCASan Sebastian, Veracruztiro60m RepisadeAgujastiro125m CuevadeManantialo100Croquis elaborado por C. Lazcano,J.Prieto, V. Granados Febrerode1983SMEStiro5mtirollmsalonfinal200236Metros

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L)oooo("MUS,-ntesutltP!/I----

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LongCavesofMexico51,17024,3n22,43210,7698782 7884 7764 7700 7200 6700 6381 60325600 5098 4570 4502 4500 4471 4206 4107 4087 3931 3748352435003440 33533350 33163280 31003066 3022 30U2 30003000 300028872750 2702268225002493 2301225022232100 21002005compiledbyPeterS.SprouseTamau1ipasOaxacaPueb1aOaxacaOaxacaPueblaOaxacaPueb1aSanLuisPotosiYucatanPueb1aTamau1ipasGuerrero Guerrero GuerreroOaxacaSanLuisPotosiSanLuisPotosiPueblaOaxacaPueblaGuerreroPueb1aOaxacaOaxacaChiapas4ueretaroYucatanOaxacaChiapas ChiapasGuerreroPueb1aSanLuisPotosiSanLuisPotosiGuerreroPueb1aSanLuisPotosiJa1iscoGuerreroPueb1aYucatanPueb1aOaxaca-VeracruzPueblaChiapasGuerrero GuerreroVeracruzPuebla1.SistemaPurificacion2.SistemaHuaut1a3.SistemaCuetzalan4.Nital'lanta5.LaGrietab.SumideroSantaElena7.CuevadelaPenaCo1orada8.AtepolihuitdeSanMiguel9.SotanodelArroyo10.ActundeKaua11.SumiderodeJonotla12.SotanodeLasCalenturas13.GrutadelRioChontalcoatlan14.GrutadelRioSanJeronimo15.GrutasdeJuxtlahuaca16.CuevadelNacimientodelRioSanAntonio17.SotanodelaTinaja18.SotanodeJapones19.SistemaSanAndres20.SotanodelRioIglesia21.SistemaZoquiapan22.SimadelBorrego23.SumideroSanBernardo24.SotanodeAguadeCarrizo25.NitaNashi26.Veshtucoc27.CuevadelRioJalpan28.ActunXpukil29.CuevadelaLagunaVerde30.SumideroYochib31.CuevadeElChorreadero32.SumideroLaJoya33.AtepolihuitdeNauzontla34.SistemadeMontecillos35.SotanodeHuitzmo1otit1a36.SumiderodeAtliliakan37.SotanodelRioCoyomeapan38.SotanodelTigre39.ResumiderodeToxin40.BocadelRioApetlanca41.CuevaAyockal42.ActunLoltun43.SistemaSantaLucia44.CuevadeJuanSanchez45.SimadelaCruzVerde46.GrutasdeSanCristobal47.Xocomanet1an48.GrutasdeEstrella49.SumiderodeCuetza1oztot150.SumiderodeAtecar1a

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DeepCavesofMexicocompiledbyPeterS.Sprouse1.SistemaHuautla2.NitaNanta3.SistemaPurificacion4.SotanodeAguadeCarrizo5.SotanodeTrinidad6.LaGrieta7.SotanodeTilaco8.NitaNashi9.CuevadeDiamante10.NitaHe11.SistemaCuetzalan12.SotanodelasCoyotas13.SotanodelRioIglesia14.SotanodeAhuihuitzcapa15.SotanodeNogal16.SotanodelasGolondrinas17.HoyadelasConchas18.SotanodelBuque19.HoyadelasGuaguas20.CuevadeSanAgustin21.SotanodelBarro22.HoyodeSanMiguel23.SotanoItamo24.SotanodeTlamaya25.CuevadeLaPena26.SumideroSantaElena27.AtepolihuitdeSanMiguel28.SotanodelaJoyadeSalas29.SotanoTomasaKiahua30.SotanodelaVirgen31.CuevadeElChorreadero32.CuevadeXocotlat33.SotanodelRioCoyomeapan34.GrutasdeSanCristobal35.SotanodeLosHernandez36.CuevadeSantaCruz37.SumiderodelRioXocotlat38.SotanodeSeisSegundos39.SotanitodeAhuacatlan40.HoyadeZimapan41.SumiderodeAtikpak42.SotanodeJabali43.SistemaZoquiapan44.SotanodelBurro45.SotanodelosMonos46.SotanoHondo47.SotanodeSoyate48.CuevadelRanchodeAgua Amarga49.SotanodelasHoyas50.VeshtucocOaxacaOaxacaTamaulipasOaxacaSanLuisPotosiOaxacaQueretaroOaxacaTamau1ipasOaxacaPueb1aGuanajuatoOaxacaVeracruzQueretaroSanLuisPotosiQueretaroQueretaroSanLuisPotosiOaxacaQueretaroGuerreroVeracruzSanLuisPotosiSanLuisPotosiPueb1a Pueb1aTamau1ipasVeracruzQueretaroChiapasPueb1aPueblaChiapasQueretaroOaxacaPueb1aOaxacaQueretaroSanLuisPotosiVeracruzQueretaroPueb1aQueretaroSanLuisPotosiQueretaroSanLuisPotosiSanLuisPotosiGuanajuatoChiapas1245 1031 895 836 834 733 649 641 621 594 587 581 531 515 529 512 508 506 478 461 455 455 454 454 448 400 399 376 374 352 345 339 337 330 330 327 323 323 320 320 319 308 297 292 291 290 287 283 282 280

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PUNTABANDAESTADODEBAJACALIFORNIAoCaletaPuertoEscondidoBahiadeTodosSantosIiJoDD0BahiaPapalote1KILOMETERCONTOUR INTERVAL:20metersmetersBahiaTorrescanof37ISLASDETOooSSANTOS'"40(:.1tJf()ll:'il,l,.,-iii",""'"\,PACIFICJPtLornaOCEANKILOMETERS102030--"0CuevasISLASDELOS..CO/;>QNADOS!jCABO BANDAaCuevaRayo De Sol ParaLaMarCuevaDeLasFocas PuertosoCuartoCanMuchasVentanasLaMarrYCuevaDeLosTunels Paralelos3230-371984,SCSCS;808RICHARDS,

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THESEACAVESOFDaveBunnellandCarolVeselyIncontrasttomainlandMexico,thereislittlelimestoneandfewknowncavesonthe1200-ki1ometerlongBajapeninsula.Thelongestknownlimestonecave,CuevadeAguaCalienteis143metersinlength.Withsome2500-p1uskilometersofcoastline,Bajaseemedlikegoodhuntinggroundsforagenerallyneglectedtypeofcave:littoral,orseacaves.We'dalreadymappedanumberofseacaveslongerthan143metersinCaliforniaandfiguredthatMexico,beingwhatitis,oughttohavesomeevenbiggerones.OurinterestinthePuntaBandaareawasspurredbyreports,fromdivingfriendsandyachtingguides,oflargecavesnearthetip.PuntaBandaisa12-ki1ometerlongpromontorythatformsthesouthwestsideoftheBahiadeTodastos,withEnsenadaformingthenorthsideofthebay.Aprominentpeakrises388metersabovethesea.Muchoftherocknearthetipisofvolcanicorigin.SomeeightkilometersfromthetiparetheruggedvolcanicIslasdeTodosSantos,alsorumoredtohave25

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largeseacaves.Also,PuntaBandaishomeofLaBufadora,thefamousblowhole.Evenonacalmday,theoceanshoots20to30metersintotheairfromthissmallcave.Thingsreallygotstartedthough,whenErnieGarzatookhisFolboatdowntopaddlealongtheruggedcoastofPuntaBanda.Landingononeofthefewbeaches,hediscoveredaseriesofcavesthatwelaternamed"SistemaPuntaBanda."Lackingaflashlight,hecouldn'tappreciatetheirfullextent,buthereturnedwithglowingreportsoflargechambersfilledwithbarkingsealionsTRIPONEBadstormscausedbyElNinoforcedustocancelseveralscheduledseacavetrips,butfinallyinApril1983goodweatherandlownegativetidescoincided,andwealongwithErnieGarza,BobRichards,DonDeLuciaandLisaDeLuciaeventuallymadeittobeautifulBaja.TheruggedterrainaroundPuntaBandawascoveredwithchapparalandcactus,allinfullbloomfromtheheavywinterstorms.Duetothesteepnessofthecliffs,wewerenotsurehoweasyitwouldbetogettoanyseacavesbyhikingoverland.SinceErniehadoriginallyvisitedthecavesbyboat,wedecidedtouseourtwoinflatablerafts.WithDonandLisainoneraftandDaveandCarolintheother,weattemptedtopaddlefromthemosteasilyaccessiblebeachtowardsthecavesthatErniehadtoldusabout.Thecurrentwasverystrongoncewehadlefttherelativeprotectionofthecovefromwhichwelaunched.Jaggedcliffs,15to20metershigh,plungeddirectlyintotheseaforasfaraswecouldsee,withnoseacavesorbeachesinsight.DonandLisaturnedaround,butDaveandCarolpaddledonuntiltheyfinallyreachedabeachwheretheycouldlandandresttheirDonandLisadeLuciaandErnieGarzainErnie'sFolboat.(DaveBunnell)arms.Nearthebeachweresomeseastackscontainingsomesmallseacavesandtunnels,butnothingofsignificance.WejudgedthatwewerestillalongpaddlefromErnie'scaves,andsinceCarolwasfeelingatouchofseasickness,wedecidedtoheadback.Toourpleasantsurprisewefoundthatwecouldclimbupthecliffsfromthebeachandthattherewasevenatrailheadingbothbackthewaywehadcomeandalsoouttowardsthepoint.Wehikedbacktofindthattheothershadnotbeenanymoresuccessfulthanwe.Thenextdaywedecidedtotryanewplanofattack,sincetheraftshadprovedtooslowandawkwardfortravellingsuchlongdistances.WeassembledErnie'sFolboat,andErnieandDavepaddledouttowardsthecaves,whiletheresttookthetrail.TheFolboatprovedtobeaquickerbutsomewhatriskiermeansoftransportation.AhugegraywhalesurfacedfivemetersfromtheboatasErnieandDavewerepassingLaBufadoralNeverthelessweallmanagedtoarrivesafelyatourdestination.MeanwhileDonfounda way downtotheoceanfromthetopofthecliffsandimmediatelydiscoveredaninconspicuouswalkingheightfissure.Enteringthiscave,hewassurprisedtofindthatthepassagecontinuedindarknessforaLookingtowardsthepointscontainingtheSistemaPuntaBanda.Santosinbackground.(DaveBunnell)26IslosTodos

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SISTEMAPUNTA BANDALEGENDTOTAL:550melers--OJ33m270m128m 119mCUARTOCONMUCHASVENTANASLA MARClifffaceCeiling Drop@Ceiling HeightOceanlfneOCeanWater*..,..Starfish.Anemones,..andOther TidepoolLifeDripline<:c>Breakdown88Cobblesc::>Poolledge::::: SlopeSUUNTOANDTAPESURVEYBY:R.Briesch,D Bunnell,D.Delucia, L Delucia,B.Forr,E.Garza,B.Uebman,B.Richards,C.Vesely.SOUTHERNCALIFORNiASEACAVESURVEYSURVEYEDAT-0.2lowTide;10April83,1April84.SURVEYEDlENGTHS:Cuevay-Cueva RayoDeSolParalaMarCuevaDelasFacasPuerlos-Cuarlo Con Muchas VenlanaslaMar-CUEVADELAS FOCASPUERTOSPACIFICOCEANEn,dEST ADODEBAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICOSCALE01020"'".":""".............METERS1984,SCSCS;BOBRICHARDS.

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CUEVADELOSTUNELSPARALELOSESTADODEBAJACALIFORNIA,MEXICOSUUNTOANDTAPESURVEYBY:BEACHLEGENDOceanLineOCean Water" *':LWeE.GarzaB.RichardsCVesely----DnplineBreakdownCobblesLedgeSlopeCeilingDrop@CeilingHeightD.BunnellD.DeLuciaL.DeLuciaSOUTHERNCALIFORNIASEACAVESURVEYSURVEYEDAT-0.2 Low Tide;10April 1983.SURVEYEDLENGTH:Cueva159 mCueva2-11mCuevadeLos TunelsParalelos206 mTOTAL:276metersSCALE0 10 20!IMETERSPACIFICOCEANBEACH1983,SCSCSCartographyby:CarolVesely,BobRichards.

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chamber(25x35meters)thatwasbeautifullylitbydifferententrances.Thefloorwasstrewnwithpinkandlavenderrocksthatnestledafantasticarrayofstarfish,anemones,urchins,andothercolorfultidepoollife.Wavesofblue-greenwatercrashedthroughtheseveralseawardentrances,butthetidewaslowenoughsothatthebackpassagesinthecaveweredry.Wesurveyed119metersinthispicturesquegrotto,whichwenamedCuartoconMuchasVentanasalMar (RoomwithMany WindowstotheSea).Headingoutoneoftheentrancesontheothersideoftheroom,wefoundourselvesonasmallcobblestonebeach.Withourattentionfocusedonthesmallcaveentranceontheotherside,wedidn'tnoticeafamilyofspottedharborsealssunningthemselvesonthebeachuntilwewereaboutfivemetersfromthem.Frightened,theyhurriedforthewaterbeforeDavecouldgethiscameraready.As wepoppedthroughthesmallentrance,wewereagainstartledhyanotherdozenharborsealswhoapparentlymaketheirhomeinthecave.Barkingloudlyattheintfusion,theytooscurriedintotheoceanforsafety.Thecaveopenedintoalong,darkroomwithasmallbeachatthebackandalongwaterpassagedimlylitbygood70metersparalleltotheoceanbeforereachinganotherentrance.Donreturnedtoinformusofhisdiscovery,butbythistimewehadallassembledonanearbybeachwhereErnieandDavecouldlandtheFolboat.Fromtheboat,Erniehadspottedtheentranceshehadseenbefore.Oncewewereallassembledonthebeach,wedidn'tknowwhichdirectiontoheadfirst:therewereseveralentrancesinalldirections.DonandDavequicklyswamouttoalittlecavethatcutthroughasea-stackabout30metersoffshore,whiletherestofusheadedforanintriguingopeningtothesouthofthebeach.Thiscaveopenedintoalargeroomwithseveralseawardentrances.Exitingthroughthefarthestentranceandcontinuingalongthecliffs,wecametoanotherlittleseacaveonlyafewmetersfromthefirstone.THEPARALLELTUNNELSPastthiscave,thewavescrashedstronglyagainstthecliffs,butusingcarefultimingwewereabletotraversearoundthenextcornerandintothecavethatDonhaddiscoveredearlier.Thisunusualseacaveconsistedofthreeinterconnectingwalkingpassagesthatallranparalleltotheocean.Inoneofthepassages,intotaldarkness,wefoundseveralwhiteseaanemonesandonepinkone.Seaanemonestypicallyappeargreenduetoasymbioticrelationshipwithagreenalgaethatrequiressunlightforgrowth.Thebackofthelongestpassageendedinacrawlwaythatalmostconnectedtotheothersmallseacavearoundthecorner.WenamedthisunusualandimpressivecaveParallelTunnels.At206meters,thiswasthelargestseacavewe'dfoundontheBajapeninsula.AftersurveyingParallelTunnelsandthetwoothercavesnearby,weheadedacrossthebeachinthedirectionofthepoint.Immediatelywe cameuponanotherwalking-heightentrance.ItledintoalargeinnerAsunbathingsealatoneentrancestoCuevasdelosPuertos.(DaveBunnell)oftheFocas29

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BobRichardsstandsaboveanentrancetoCuevadelosFocasPuertos.(BillLiebman)Baja.Forsomereasonheisveryinterestedincaves,andhasevenpassedouthandbillsinvariousplacesofferingmoneyforinformationaboutcavelocations.Todatehe'sfoundnothinginthewayoflimestonecaves.SomehowhefoundoutaboutourmappingeffortsinBajaandwrotetouswithanoffertohelpusoutwithhisboat(inreturnforsomesea-caving"adventures"toincludeinhisbook).InNovember,wealongwithBobRichards,ErnieGarza,DonDeLucia,LisaDeLucia,andBillFarrmethimatLaBufadora.Fiveofuspiledintohis15footaluminumfishingboat.Ernie,Don,andLisaweretowedbehindintheFolboat,atleastuntilthefrontendpulledoffandtheywerelefttopaddleontheirown,whilewetookofftodosomescouting.Itwasn'tlongbeforeCarolandBillweresoseasickthattheyhadtoabandonship.Bob,WaltandDavecontinuedon,sightingnumerousentrancesastheyroundedthepoint.ThenWaltsaidthathehadbeentoldESTADODE BAJACALIFORNIA,MEXICOCUEVASDEISLADETODOSSANTOS...mAS'0202b'.bC1913.101RtCMMDS,NSS13720SUUNTOANDTAPESl.INfYIV19Nov.1983 D........W,........,B.RIchoIaITOTAlCAVETRAYBlSE88rTWfiMSTOTAl.$t.JRVVEOTRAVR$E:131PLANVIEW(Datain Meiers)TRIPTWOanunseenunderwaterentrance.Theeerieblueglow,thesmellofsealexcrement,andthecrashingofthewaves,combinedwithallthesealsfranticallyswimmingaround,madethiscavemuchlessfriendlythanthelastone.DaveandDonbravedthesealionsandsurftocompletethesurveyat128metersforCuevadelosFBcasPuertos(CaveoftheHarborSeals).Timewasrunningout,and,althoughwe knewtheremustbemanymoreseacavestowardsthepoint,wefeltourfirsttriptotheareahadbeenquiteproductive.Onoursecondtrip,wewerefortunatetohavearealboatalongtoscoutthecliffsfromtheoceanforcaves.WejoinedupwithWaltPeterson,whoisgatheringmaterialforalargeadventure-typeguidebookto30

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CUEVADELAS ISLATRAGALUCES(CAVEOFTHEISlANDSKYliGHTS)ESTADO DE BAJA CALIFORNIA,MEXICOTwoskylightsintheroofaddedtotheuniquequalityofthisrelictseacave,CuevadelasIslaTragaluces.TRIPTHREEOurthirdtripwasinlateJanuaryof1984.OnlyBillFarrwasabletojoinus,andthethreeofusdecidedtocheckoutanareathatWaltPetersonhadtoldusabout,locatedaboutfivekilometerssouthofLaBufadoraontheoceansideofthepoint.Thisisanareaofveryhighcliffs,manyoffshoreseastacks,andnumerouscaveentrancesvisiblebutnoteasilyaccessiblefromthetopofthecliffs.Onthistrip,Billintroduceda newtechnologyforseacaveexploration:alightweight,styrofoam"boogieboard"andfins.Thisprovedtobeasmobileasthesmallboatswehadbeenusingandofferedseveraladvantages:(1)everyonehashisorherownindependentmethodoftransportation.(2)Unlikerafts,boogieboardsaren'teasilypuncturedbysharpbarnacles.(3)Theyareeasiertolaunchthanaraftthroughroughsurf.(4)Theyarelighterandlessawkwardtotransportthananinflatedraft.(5)Theydon'ttaketimetoinflate.And(6)theyofferyousomeprotectionbyputtingsomethingbetweenyouandtherock.Ideally,youcanwearahelmetandglovesalongwithyourwetsuit,andyouarereadyforwhatevertheoceancandishoutonanaverageday.Inanyevent,wescoutedthecliffs,CarolandDaveintheraftandBillonhisboogieboard.Evenatlowtide,mostofthecavesseemedtobefilledwitharatherviolentsurf.Wepaddledintoonegood-sizedroominwhichthewaterglowedfromsunlightstreamingthroughanunderwateropening.Wecouldseepassagesgoingoffthebackoftheroom,butthesurfwastooradicaltoattemptlanding.Furtheralongthecoast,welandedatabeachnearastrangepinnacle-shaped.seastack.Welocatedanunusualfissurecaveformedinbreccia,whichbeganasawalkway,constrictedtoacrawl,C1913.80S!ltC1oWmSNSS137204,OMfIERS........."'..--"".......'....SCAlESUUNTOANDIAPfSUIlIIEYBY,fO!'olOW1ft,3c .........w......",..1hi:nl:MaTOTA!.SUMVEO27metefSCROSSVIEWA-A'APLANVIEW(Datoin_>ofacavewith"sevenrooms"ontheislandandaskedifwewereinterested?Wesurewere,sooffwewenttoTodosSantos,someeightkilometersaway.Thecrossingwasabitrough,butwelandedinabeautifullittlecovewithsealionsontherocks.Fromherewehikedoverlandoveraconeofvolcanicrock.Wecouldseeseveralrelictseacaves,oneagood40metersabovethesea.Weclimbeddownthecliffsandsoop.locatedaseriesofratheraverageseacaves,noneover25metersinlength.Apparentlythe"sevenrooms"meantsevenlittlecavesincloseproximity.Wemappedthese(CuevasdeIsladeTodosSantos),whileWalttookpicturesofthe"action"forhisbook.Atonepointalargeswellsurprisedhimandsoakedhimandhisexpensivemediumformatcamera.Finishingthese,weclimbedbackuptheridgeandenteredasmallhole.Tooursurprise,itcutthroughtheridgeandexitedthroughahugesheltercaveoverlookingthebay.31

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upintowalkwayagain,theneatatanothercrawl.DavewatchedinamusementasfirstBillandthenCarolgotstucktryingtopushthiscrawl,luredonbyreverberatingechoesofsurfinsomehiddenchamberbeyond.Thishavingbeentheonlyapproachablecaveinthearea,wewentfurthersouthtoaprominentseastackwithtwocavesandsomeincredibletidepoolsbigenoughforsnorkeling.Theareaisrichintidepoollife,includingredandpurpleurchins,giantanemones,starfish,tubeworms,andvarioussponges.WecappedoffthedaywithalobsterdinneratrestaurantElGordooverlookingtheBahiaPapaloteneartheblowhole.Thenextdaywasspentinareconnaissance,circumnavigatingtheentirepointonfoot,whichtakesseveralhours.Wenotednumerouscavesonboththeoceanandbaysides.Therewereseveralseastackscontainingtunnelswithratherradical-lookingsurges.Forsomereasonweweren'tverymotivatedtomapthatdayandwesimplynotedsomegoodleadsforthenexttrip,whenwewouldhavemorehelp.TRIPFOURBythistimeourglowingreportsoftheBajaareahadarousedthecuriosityandenthusiasumofseveralothermembersoftheSouthernCaliforniaGrotto.InadditiontoBajaregularsBobRichards,BillFarr,andourselves,wewerejoinedbyBillLeibman,RichBreisch,andanumberofsea-cavenovices.Armedwithwetsuits,fins,rafts,boogieboards,andinnertubes,weheadeddirectlyforthepointtochecktheleadsonthebaysidethatwehadspottedonourreconnaissancetrip.Onthehikeout,Richdiscoveredthatinnertubesandsharpcactusdon'tmix!Followingthecoastlineeastfromthepoint,wefirstencounteredsomesmallarchesandtunnelswithsportingsurges.Asthesecavesweren'tverybig,severalofournewsea-cavingrecruitsdecided32topartcompanywithusandvisitSistemaPuntaBanda.Theychosethewrongtimetodepart,becauseimmediatelyaftertheyleftwefoundabeautifullittlecave,CuevaMarPiluello,withthebesttidepoolswehadseeninBaja!Aftermappingthisandafewothercaves,weheadedforanimpressive,water-filledentrancemeasuring15by15metersthatwehadlocatedonourlasttrip.Beforeenteringthiscave,wewatchedfromthetopofthecliffsasthewavescrashedagainsttherocksjustinside.Evenwithboogieboardsitlookedlikeitwouldbetricky.Bob,BillFarr,andCarolgaveitatry,butonlyBillmadeittothebeachinthebackofthecave.BobandCarolwereleftbobbingaroundinthesurgelikecorks,becausetheyLookingfromasidepassageintothemainpassageofCuevadeResacaViolento.(DaveBunnell)

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CUEVARESACAVIOLENTOESTADODEBAJACALIFORNIAOi/SeepSurgeChannelAQENTRANCE----o8(j)0cSCALE0 1020!iMETERSCDSUUNTOANDTAPESURVEYBY:R.Briesch,D.Bunnell,B.Farr,B.Liebman,B.Richards,C.Vesely.SOUTHERNCALIFORNIASEACAVESURVEYSURVEYEDAT0.0Low Tide;31March1984.TOTALSURVEYEDTRAVERSE:91meters 1984,SCSCS;BOBRICHARDS.

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didn'thavefins.ThenandBillLiebmanshowedupaftermappinganotherandfinallyweallmadeitpasttherocksandintothecave.Davediscoveredaninterestingwhichwasabout1.5metersabovethewater.Climbingintoitrequiredcarefultimingtoavoidgettingwashedawaybytheever-growingswells.Thepassageledtoanotherentranceinanothercove.Bynowtheswellsweregrowingreallyasastormwascomingin.As Davetookthetapeouttothedropahugewavecameinandrippedthetapefromhishands.Therewasnowaytorecoverit,astheoceancarrieditawayimmediately.Fortunatelywehadbroughtasecondtape,butwerealizedthatweneededtofinishoursurveyquickly.AsBillandCarolstoodontherocksneartheentrancewaitingforalullintheapowerfulwaveknockedCarolfromtherockandcarriedher15metersintothecave.Eventuallyallmadeitoutsafely,butnotwithoutafewtensemoments.Wenamedthis9l-meterlongcaveCuevadeResacaViolente(CaveoftheWildSurf).RAYODELSOLThenextdaytheweatherappearedratheriffy,withclearskiesalternatingwithrain.Wedecidedtogoforitanyway,aswewerekeenonexaminingtheleadsDavehadspottedadjacenttoCuevadelosFocasPuertos.Unfortunatelythesurfwassoroughthatonecouldbarelyenteranyofthelargecavesfoundonthefirsttrip.HopingthatthingswouldimproveasthetidewentwesatandwatchedasthesealionsplayedinthesurfcrashingintoCuartoConMuchasVentanas.FinallywecontinuedonandlocatedaspottoclimbdownintothecovejustnorthofFocasPuertos.Richwasdownfirstandcamebacktoreportthattheredidn'tseemtobemuchbuthehadn'tventuredintothewater.Relyingonintuition,Davequicklyputonhiswetsuitand34DryentrancestoRayodelSolparalaMar.(BillLiebman)wenttoexplore.Climbingaroundarockypoint,hewentthroughalargeshelterwithadoubleentrance,aroundacornerthroughafissure,andintoalarge,dimlylitchambercontainingharborseals.Thesequicklyscurriedoff,startledbyhissuddenintrusion.Thesurfwascrashingviolentlythroughthreeseawardtunnels,anditwasobviousthatthiswasabigfindvirginseacave!Hepokedaroundinsomedarktunnelsbranchingoffthethenranbackexcitedlytoinformtheothers.When wereturned,aspectacularsunbeamwasstreamingthroughtheentrance,illuminatingthelargeinnerchamber.BillLiebmansuggestedthenameRayodelSolparalaMar(SunbeambytheSea)forthenewfind.Ittookusseveralhourstosurveythislargewhich,at270meters,isthesecondlongestseacavewe'vesurveyed.Thesurfwastooradicaltosurveyoutofthethreeseawardentrances,80weusedacombinationofoverland5urandsurveyalongtheclifffaceoutsidethecavetodeterminethelengthsoftheseawardtunnels.AsBillLiebmantookthetapearoundtooneofthehewaspoundedbythecrashingsurf.Attimesyoucouldbarelymakeouthis

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silverhelmetinthesurge.Somehowhewasabletoholdhisposition,andwetiedintheentrance.Daveattemptedsomephotographyintheinnerchamber,whichprovedrathering.Thinkinghewaswelloutofthesurfzone,hehadsethiscameraonatripodandhadsetsomeflashgunsnearby.Suddenlyanunexpectedswellcameinandwashedawayaflashgunaswellasupsettingthecamera,whichfelllens-firstintothewater.Itwasano-winsituationinanycasetoomuchlightcomingintheentrancefortypicaltimeexposureandflashtechniquesandtoolittlelightwithoutaflash.Seacavephotographycertainlypresentssomedifficultchallenges.Duetoitscloseproximitytothecavewehadsurveyedonourveryfirsttrip,wedecidedtotiethisnewcavetogetherwithFocasPuertosandMuchasVentanasbyanoverlandsurvey.Despitethelowtide,theviolentsurfmadeitdifficulttoenterFocasPuertos,andmuchofMuchasVentanaswassubmergedaswell.WehadwantedtoshowtheothersthroughParallelTunnels,butitlookedabittoosportingtoenter.Allinall,wefeltthatthislasttripwasourmostproductivetripofall.WehavebynomeansexhaustedthepotentialforlargeseacavesatPuntaBanda.Whilewehavebasicallycoveredthewestsideofthetip,theareaontheeastsidetothesoutheastofResacaViolentoislargelyunchecked.Thecliffsareveryhighhereandaccessfromaboveismoredifficult.TherearereportsofotherlargecavesoutontheIslasdeTodosSantos.Ofcourse,thereisalsoalotmoreofBajatosearchforseacaves.WeplantovisittheIsladelCarmen(nearLoreto),wheretherearereportsoflargeseacavesrequiringaboatforexplorationCAVERNASMARINASDEPUNTABANDAmetrosmetros metros metros11912891270Desdeabrilde1983,cuatroviajeshasidorealizadosalareadePuntaBandadeBajaCaliforniaNorte,paraexplorarlascavernasmarinasa10largodelacosta.Muchascuevasfueronexploradasymapeadas,delascualessobresalen:CuartoconMuchasVentanasalMarCuevadelasFocasPuertasCuevadelaResacaViolentaRayodelSol35

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SOTANO DE VASQUEZbyPatriciaMathesandRoyJamesonSotanodeVasquezisamulti-dropcaveapproximately2.3kilometerslongand277metersdeep.ItislocatedinadolinenearthecrestoftheSierraTamalaveinTamaulipas.Mexico(topographicsheetF14A59).TheSierraTama1aveisananticlinalridgeextendingsouthfromtheSierradeGuatemala.a muchhigherrangenortheastofOcampo.Accesstothecaveisprovidedbyasystemoftrailsattheendofashortdirtroad.southofPuertodelaVirgin.ontheE1LimonOcampohighway.ThecaveisdevelopedinmassivebedsoftheElAbralimestoneofCretaceousage.Althoughitisaverticalcave.therearesixlevelsofhorizontalpassageswithinit.Thehighestlevelhasanextensivefossilsection.withabundantspeleothemsanddeepmoundsofdessicatedguano.Italsohasanactivesectionthatleadstotheotherlevels.Theseotherlevelsbeginasclean.cobble-flooredcanyons.butcontainmuddyandwetsectionsaswell.Thelowestlevelhasalake.Basedonitselevation.andonthepresenceofapopulationofeyelessCharacinfishofthegenusAstyanax(Mitchell1977).thelakeisbelievedtolienearlocalbaselevel.TheentranceisalOl-meter-deeppitfedbyashortarroyo.Thepitisaroughlycylindricalshaftthatbellsoutslightlywithdepth.Thelipoftheshaft.attheendofthearroyo.liessome20metersbelowthetopofacliffonthehighside.Seventeenmetersbelowthelipisalargeledge.Thereareseveralgoodriggingpointsonitforthefollowing84-meterfreedrop.Atthebaseoftheentranceshaft.onLevell.therearetwomainpassages.An"upstream"routeleadstoa367-meterclimbintothefossilsection.Thissectionbeginsasawide.welldecoratedchamber.theTurkeyRoom.AtitsendisacanyonleadingtotheGuanoTrenchlands.Hereguanoissodeepandsoftthatitisnecessarytostayonthetrailsestablishedduringtheoriginalexplorations.Trailsmostlywindalongtheperimetersofpassagesintrenchesupto2metersdeep.BeyondtheTrenchlands.thereisa30-meterdropintotheGuanoDriftRoom.Descentorascentofthisdropisaccompaniedbyacontinuousrainofguano.duetotherubbingoftheropeagainsttheguano-coveredwallatthelipofthedrop.RimstonedamsintheTurkeyRoom.(RoyJameson)

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Downstreamfromthebaseoftheentrancepit.thepassageiscleanlywashed.withmanycobbles.A30-meterpitchleadstoLevel2.Thislevelisformedbyahorizontalcanyon.Thereareseveralshortfissuresleadingoffofit.Ashortdistancefromthebaseofthe30-meterpitchthereisa muddyclimb.Abovethis.thepassageiswell-decorated.Level2islinkedtolevel3byalO-meterdropdown afissure.ThemainpassageonLevel3isashortcanyon.About30metersfromthepitthereisajunctionatthetopofal5-meterclimbdowntoLevel4.AtthetopoftheclimbdowntherearetwofissuresonLevel3;theyrejoinatthebeginningofa muddycrawlwayleadingtoseveralsmallfissuresandrooms.Level4ismostlyahorizontalcanyon.GlowWormCanyon.butinplacesthepassageisalowtube.Nearthebeginningofthecanyon.thereismuch mudandorganicdebriswithglowworms,millipeds,andotherfauna.Nearthemiddleofthecanyonthereareseveralpitsdroppingtothefifthlevel.Thebestroute.however.toLevel5isabout50metersfartheralong.justpastaprominentbend.Thetopofthepitiscoveredwithpopcorn.LOWERLEVELSLevel5consistsofnarrowfissures,somecoveredwithpopcorn.andsomemuddy.Attheendofthemainfissuresystemisthefinaldrop.nearly80metersdeep.Thedropbeginsasanarrowfissure.TheNarrows.butthenbellsoutintoCricketChamber.CricketChamber.onLevel6.leads.inonedirection,upaslopetoapluggedfissure.Neartheendofthefissureandabout5metersoffthefloor.thereisaleadworthboltinginto.IntheotherdirectionisFishLake.Inearlyspring.duringthedryseason,afinalchambercanbereachedbypushingalowairspaceinFishPattyMothesintheGuanoTrenchlands.(RoyJameson)Lake.Thispassage.withchestandneck-deepwater,hasnoticableairflow.Thefinalchamberhasasteep,slipperymudslopeleading.apparently.toseveraldomes.Atrowelisneededtodigfootholdsandhandholds;duringtheonevisittothechambertheslopewasonlypartlyascended.THEEXPLORATIONSotanodeVasquezwasfirstshowntoAmadorCantu.CharlesFromen.andothersbyaSenorVasquezwholivedinanearbycommunity.OnthattripinNovember1971,theentrancepitwasdescendedtothelevelofthe17-meterledge.InDecember1972.FrankBinney,CraigBittinger.StevenBittinger.PaulDuncan.RonnieFieseler.ErnieGarza.RoyJameson.PeterStrickland,andNoraWhitereturned37

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HorizontalcanyonpassageinLevel2.(RoyJameson)andsurveyedoverakilometerofpassage,reachingGlowWormCanyon.FishLakewasreachedonasurveytripinFebruary1973byDonCoons,JimRodemaker,andPeterStrickland,whocollectedblindfishforRobertMitchellandWilliamElliott.Thereafter,thesurveynoteswerelostforseveralyears,andonlythetopsectionofthecavewasdrawnupinpencilcopy.WewenttoVasquezinearlyMarch1981andremappedthecaveinaseriesofeleventrips.WecampedinasmallclearingattheendofthedirtroadleadingoffPuertodelaVirgin.Thetwenty-minutehikefromcamptothecave,viacattletrails,washeavilyinfestedwithticks,andwefounditnecessarytoholdde-tickingsessionsbeforeenteringthecaveeachday.Anotherunpleasantrywasthelackofwateronthemountainorinthecave.WeeventuallyhadtohaulwaterfromOcampoandthenrationit,butwefoundthattwoorthreegallonsperdayperpersonwashardlyenoughaftertripsmappingintheguanodrifts.Webeganthemappingintheupperlevelsandworkedourwaydown.Towardtheendoftheproject,whenwewereabouttostartmappingthroughFishLake,AmadorCantu,PaulDuncan,andJaySwindlemadeasurprisevisit.Recruitingtheirhelp,wepushedthelakeseveralhundredmeterstothefinalchamber.SOTANODEVASQUEZElsotanodeVasquezselocalizaenunadolinacercadelacrestadelasierraTamalave,enelestadodeTamaulipas.Estaesunacavernadetirosmultiplesdeaproximadamente2300metrosdelongitudy277metrosdeprofundidad.Lacavernasedesarrollaenunmacisocalcareodelaeracretasica.Dichacavernacontieneseisniveleshorizontales.Sinembargoesunacuevavertical.SotanodeVasquezfuevisitadaporlaprimeravezell1971yfuemapeadoen1972y1981.38

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Glowworm Canyon GuanoDriftRoomDEVASQUEZFishLakeSurveyedApril19,1981byA. CantuP.DuncanJ.SwindleR,Jameson SurveyedMarch.1981by R. JamesanP.MothesOCAMPO MEXICO30MMUNICIPIODETAMAULIPAS.SOTANOGuanoTrenchlandsCricket Chamber TheNarrowsTurkeyRaomEntrance80M84M17MFishLakePROFILE FACINGNm45E10MMeterso-100-200-277

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CAVEDWELLING POPULATIONSOFRhamdia(Pimelodidae)IN MEXICODoyleMosierAlthoughcave-dwellingcatfishofthegenusRhamdiahavebeenknownfromMexicoforfiftyyears(Hubbs1936,1938),itwasnotuntil1972,whenJamesReddellandotherscollectedthetroglobiticRhamdiareddelliintheAcatlanregionofOaxaca,thattheoccurrenceofeyelessformsofRhamdiainMexicowasconfirmed(Miller1984).Sincethen,bagresexhibitingvariousdegreesofeyedevelopmentandpigmentationhavebeenfoundinseveralcavesthroughoutsouthernMexico.Noneofthesehavebeendescribed.Anadditionalcave-adaptedform,RhamdialaticaudatzPhla,hasbeendescribedfromBelizeGreenfieldetal.1983).EpigeanspeciesofRhamdiaoccurthroughsouthernMexiconorthwardtoVeracruzontheAtlanticslopeandtotheRioTehuantepecbasinonthePacificslope.AlloftheknowncavepopulationsarewithinthisrangeontheAtlanticslope.MexicanspeciesofRhamdiacanbedividedintotwodistinctspeciesgroups;TheRhamdiaguatemalensisspeciesgroupcontainsthecommonandwidespreadR.guatemal-LocalboyshelpcollectinCuevadePlandeAyala.(DoyleMosier)40

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ensis,whichoccursonboththeAtlanticandPacificslopes,andpossiblytwoundescribedepigeanspeciesinChiapas.TheRhamdialaticaudaspeciesgroupconsistsoflaticaudaontheAtlanticslope,reddelli,alsoontheAtlanticslopeinOaxaca,andparryionthePacificslope.rampresentlyinvestigatingtheevolutionarygeneticsofallMexicanspeciesofRhamdia,emphasizingthecave-dwellingforms.Thisworkisintheearlystages,however,andsinceitisbecomingapparentthatthisgenusmayrepresentasignificantcomponentofthecavernicolefaunainsouthernMexico,itseemsworthwhiletobrieflyreviewthevariouscavepopulationsofRhamdiaknowntoexistinMexico.UniquelypigmentedRhamdiaguatemalensis.(DoyleMosier)\\ \\\..--.NorthernLimitofRhamdla1.Yucatan2.Acatlan,Oaxaca3.Zongolica,Veracruz4.PlandeAyala,Chiapas5.Ocozocoautla,Chiapas6.Malpaso,Chiapas?7.BelizeMEXICO///t'\,../--r
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YUCATANHubbs(1936,1938)reportedfoursubspeciesofthecommonepigeanspecies,RhamdiaguatemalensisfromtheYucatanpeninsula.Twoofthese,Rhamdiaguatemalensisdecolorandstygaea,arecaverestricted.Rhamdiaguatemalensisdepressa,thecommonpeninsularform,occursincenotesthroughoutYucatan.Allofthesesubspeciesareeyedandpigmented,butthetwocaveformshaveslightlyreducedeyesandarelighterincolorationthanthecenoteform.InJuly1983,JamesReddellandIcollectedasingleabnormallypigmentedspecimenwithawhiteheadandbrownbodyfromCenotedeLibreUnion.Whetherthisindividualrepresentsageneticallydistinctiveformisyettobedetermined.Othersimilarlypigmentedbagrescouldbeseeninthecenotebutwerenotcollected.Ihopetoobtainmorespecimensforfurtherstudyinthefuture.OAXACATrog10biticRhamdiahavebeencollectedfromtwocavesintheAcatIanregion;CuevadeMaravillasandCuevadelNacimientodelRioSanAntonio(thetypelocalityforRhamdiareddelli.)Thesearebothlargecaveswithextensivepoolsofwater.CuevadelNacimientodelRioSanAntoniocontainsonlyreddelli,whichiscloselyrelatedtoRhamdialaticauda.CuevadeMaravillashastwodifferentforms;reddelliandayettobedescribedformdistinguishablefromR.reddellibythepresenceofaribbon-likecaudalfin.GloriaCamachodeMontielandIcollectedR.reddelliinthepoolsnearesttotheentranceinCuevadeMaravillasinApril1984.AccordingtoJamesReddell,theundescribedformisfoundinthepoolsfarthestfromtheentrance.Sincecollected42VERACRUZ1981SteveaRhamdiaRobertsonhaslaticauda-likeAlargedegreeofeyevariationisfoundinthisVeraCruzform.(DoyleMosier)formintheZongolicaareafromCuevadeEITunel,SumiderodeEIPopoca,andSumiderodeCotzalostoc.AnadditionalspecimenwaspickedupbyPhilippeAckermannfromSotanodeAhuihuitzcapaat-455meters(seeAMCSActivitiesNewsletterNo.13).Thesefishareparticularlyinterestingfortworeasons.First,theyexhibitthelargestdegreeofeyevariationyetobserved.InasinglecollectionfromSumiderodeCotzalostoctherearespecimenswithnormal-sizedeyes,otherswithnoeyes,andevensomewithasymmetricaleyedevelopment--(aneyeononesideoftheheadbutlackingontheother).Secondly,theZongolicaregionstraddlestwomajorriverdrainages.ThecavestothenorthlieintheRioBlancobasin,andthosetothesouthareintheRio

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Altotongadrainage.Thus,therearepotentiallytwogeographicallyisolatedpopulationsinthisarea.CHIAPASInApril1984,NormaEdithHatchandIfoundaneyeless,depigmentedpopulationofRhamdiainCuevadePlandeAyala,locatednearEjidoPlandeAyala,southeastofComitan.Thesecatfisharehighlycave-adapted;ofnearlyonehundredspecimensexamined,onlyonehadsmall,vestigialeyes.Theyarealsothemostisolated.TheapparentancestralstockforthispopulationisapresentlyundescribedsurfaceformknowntooccurinsouthernChiapas.Localresidentsindicatedthatthenearestresurgenceisabouttwentykilometersfromthecave.Wewerealsoshowntwoverticalentrancestocavesthatalsocontaincatfish,butdidnothavetimetocollectinthem.Duringthesameexpedition,wealsocollectedRhamdiainCuevadeTempisque,nearOcozocoautla.Eightspecimensweretakenfromthiscave.Whileallhadwelldevelopedeyes,sixwerepigmentedandtwowerealbino.ThesefishappeartobelongtotheRhamdiaguatemalensisgroupandareprobablyconspecificwithanundescribedsurfaceformfoundinthearea.Theremainingcave-dwellingpopulationofRhamdiaknowntooccurinChiapaswerecollectedbySbordoni,presumablyfromtheMalpasoareainnorthernChiapas.Ihavenotexaminedthesespecimens,butRobertMillerconfirmsthattheyareblindanddepigmented.TheamountofcaveadapatationmanifestedinthevariousRhamdiapopulationsfoundinMexicancavesvarieswidely.Itisnotyetknownwhetheranyoftheserepresentgeneticallydistinctspecies,butgiventhegeographicandmorphologicaldiversityoftheseforms,itseemslikelythatsomewillultimatelybedescribedasnewspecies,whileotherswillonlybePossiblenewspeciesfromCuevadePlandeAyala.(DoyleMosier)43

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consideredmorphotypesofthecloselyrelatedepigeanforms.LiteratureCitedGreenfield,D.W.,T.A.Greenfield,andR.L.Woods.1983.A newsubspeciesofcave-dwellingpimelodidcatfish,Rhamdialaticaudatyphla,fromBelize,CentralAmerican.Brenesia19/20(1982):563-576.Hubbs,C.L.1936.FishesoftheYucatanPeninsula.Carnegialnst.Wash.Publ.457:157-287.1983.FishesfromthecavesofYucatan.Carnegielnst.Wash.Publ.491:261-295.Miller,R.R.1984.Rhamdiaredde1li,newspecies,thefirstblindpimelodidcatfishfromMiddleAmerica,withakeytotheMexicanspecies.Trans.SanDiegoSoc.Nat.Hist.20(8):135-144.PEZGATORHAMDIADelosvariostiposdepezgatorhamdia,solounosehaencontradoverdaderamentetroglobio:RhamdiaReddelli.Losotrostipostienenlosojosreducidos,ynosesabeconcertezasipertenecenaotraespecie.NEWSFROMBELIZESixteencaversofthe1984ChiquibulExpedition,aidedbytheNationalGeographicSocietyandtheNationalSpeleologicalSociety,conductedaninvestigationofthesinksoftheChiquibulRiverinthesouthernhighlandsofBelize.Theprojectinvolvedtwothree-and-a-halfweekphases,andnecessitatedthebackpackingoffoodandequipmentadistanceof20kilometersintoabasecampsetupinacaveentrance.DuringthedryseasoninAprilandMay, 23kilometersofcavepassagewasmappedinvariousfossilsystems44inthearea,with11kilometersbeinginActunTunkil,nowthelongestinCentralAmerica.MidwaythroughthecavetheexplorersfoundtheBelizeChamber,measuring450meterslong,50to200meterswide,and65metershigh.Mostofthecavesexploredhadlargepassages,averaging40to50meterswide,andupto100meterswideinsomeplaces.Inexploringa150-meter-deepsinkwithan80-meterrappel,thecaversfoundMayanartifacts,indicatingtheymusthavedescendedladdersandledgestoenterthepit.Source:TomMiller

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-:!..:.:,"I::J:::I...".=.::-=--,}::........=--=-.-.=--byRichRohwI"8.l1aclntosh---=0--"T

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The ChallengeofthePENACOLORADABillStoneAsDr.JohnZumrick,mywifePat,andIflewhomefromtheHuautlaareainMay1982wewerefeelingoptimistic.Wehadjustdivedthe524-meterlongfirstsumpinCuevadelaPellaColoradaandexplorednearlyakilometeroflargedrygalleryleadingnorth,towardsSotanodeSanAgustin.Accordingtothecomputerplotwedevelopedlater,therewasa9-kilometergulfbetweenthereandtheclosestknownpassagesintheuppercavesystem.Weknewthateventuallywewouldhavetoseta campbeyondSumpIIiftheexplorationfromitbecametooremote.Noonehadeverattempteda campoflongdurationbeyonda sumpbefore.Duringthesummerof1982weputtogethertheteamforthespring1984returnexpedition.Allexpeditionmemberstookpartinaseriesofthreeweek-longtrainingsessions.ThePeacockSpringssystemofSuwanneeCounty,FloridaborearemarkableS1m1larityinsize,depth,clarity,andsiltingconditions,andhencewaschosenforthetrainingsite.Membersoftheteampracticedtechniquesofprecisionbuoyancycontrol,linelaying,siltcontrol,andstage-diving.AlloftheclassroomworkwasadministeredbyJohnZumrick,acertifiedNSScavedivinginstructor.DIVEEQUIPMENTInadditiontothetrainingopera-46SumpI.(JohnZumrick)

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tion,therewasanongoingprogramofresearchanddevelopmenttoproducelight-weight,long-rangedivingapparatusfortheexpedition.Thesuccessofthemissionwas,inmanyways,directlytiedtothetransportabilityofthescuba.Thebasicdesignemployedcompositefilament-woundtanks,similartotheonesusedforthediveatthebottomofSanAgustinin1981,butweighingapoundlessandcapableofhandlingpressuresashighas600Upsi.Oneofthegreatestobstacleswefacedwasdevelopingaversatile,yetstandardexpeditionrigthatcouldbeusedinterchangeablyamongthevariousmembersoftheteam.SherwoodSelpacCorporationandAcurexAerotherm,companiesthathadbeencrucialinouruseofhighpressuresystemsinthepast,againralliedbehindtheeffortwithsurprisingzeal.SelpacSoutheast,SierraPrecision,andRubatexcontributedcriticalsubsystemsthatmadeitallwork.Theresult,testdivedinNovemberof1983,wasanodd-lookingyetreliablepieceofhardware.Fortheprimarydivelights,weusedacompact,variable-powerheadthatIhaddevelopedoverthepastthreeyears.Itutilizeda30-wattquartz-halogenbulbandaseparatecanisterofdryD-cellNicadbatteriesthatgave3.5hoursoperatingtimewhenfullycharged.GeneralElectricCorporationofNelaPark,OhioandGainsville,Floridaprovidedforty-fouroftheseunitsbuilttoourspecification.THEWHEELSROLLByJanuaryof1984,wehadsecuredthebackingoffortyinstitutional,corporate,andprivateorganizations.TheExplorersClubofNewYorkandtheNationalSpeleologicalSocietygrantedofficialsponsorshipstatustotheexpedition,andRolexUSAcamethroughwithagenerousgrant.Seventonsoffoodandhardwarehadbeenamassedandwerebynowclutteringhousesinvariouspartsofthecountry.Giventhesizeofourexpeditiontruckandtheincrediblecacheofequipmentinit,weanticipatedsevereproblemsenteringMexico.Sogreatwasourconcernthatnegotiationswereinitiatedinthespringof1983withtheMexicangovernmenttosecurefederalpermissiontoconducttheoperationandinsureoursafepassagethroughthecountry.AlthoughtheplannedsitefortheexpeditionbasecampwasinthemunicipalityofHuautla,wewouldhavetocrossdirectlythroughanothermunicipality--SanMiguelHuautepec--andhireourportersandburrostherefortransportofthematerieldownintothecanyon.WithColonelDavidRiveraBretonofthe28thmilitarybattalionworkingonourbehalf,presidenteAlfonsinAlvarezCarreraextendedusafriendlygreetingandgrantedpermissiontooperateinthemunicipality.BASECAMPOverthecourseofthreedays,147menandburroswererequiredtomoveourequipmenttothebottomofthecanyon.Anadditional36menworkedonclearingthedensejungleforthesiteofbasecamp.Threedayslaterbasecampwasfullyestablished.Twowhite5-meter-by-9-metercustomfabricatedjungletentshousedthemesshall,equipmentstorage,andmaintenanceareas.Setsofpre-Loadingaburroforatripdownintothecanyon.(BillStone)47

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fabricatedtables,benches,andstoragerackswereassembledandtheequipmentandprovisionsweresortedandstacked.Sittingaroundthetablethatnightatdinnerwasanunusuallyversatilegroupofindividuals.OurteamconsistedofJohnEvans,BobJefferys,RobParker,ClarkPitcairn,NoelSloan,AngelSoto,GaryStorrick,PatWiedeman,SergioZambrano,andmyself,allexperiencedcavediversfromtheUnitedStates,Mexico,andBritain.Additionally,JayArnoldandMarkTillmanfromCaliforniahadsignedontoproduceadocumentaryfilmoftheexpedition.NotpresentthateveningwasJohnZumrick,whowasbackintheU.S.finishingsometestsfortheNavy'sExperimentalDivingUnit,andwhowouldnotarriveuntilearlyMarch.WORKBEGINSWithbasecampsetup,weimmediatelybeganpreparingthedivinggearandpumpingtanks.Therewasunspokenexcitement.Agroupmeetingwasheld,anditwasagreedtoputGaryandClark,ourbestdivers,infirst,eachwithasetofdoubles.Alloftheequipmenthadtobebackpackedtothenewcanyonentrance,roughlyakilometerupstreamfromthecompressorstation.Fromthereitwas600metersRobParkerwiththeeighttanksledat-20meters.(BillStone)48throughlargebreakdownandmudflooredpassagetoSumpII.OnFebruary27,ClarkandGarykittedupatSumpII.AssoonasClarksubmerged,hecouldpickoutthetelltalereflectionofapoolonthefarsidewithhis30-wattprimarylight.Thesumpwasonly14meterslongand3metersdeep.Garythenreturnedtoinformusoftheirfind:alargetrunkgallerytookoffonanorthwestbearing.Wegavethemthreehourstocheckitout.TherestofusthenhelpedJayshootasceneentitled,"ExplorersCarryEquipmenttoSumpII."Nosoonerhadthisbeendonewhenweheardwhoopsfromthelake--thediverswereback.Theyhadexploredsome200metersoflargediameterbreakdownpassagebeforebeingstoppedatanothersump.SUMPIIIThefollowingday,weputsevendiversthroughSumpII.WewereonthefarsideofSumpIIwithinhalfanhour.Clark,Pat,Noel,JohnEvans,andBobsurveyedfromtheretoSumpIII.RobandIeachcarriedafullsingletanktoSumpIIIandkittedupforanexploratorypoke.Thevisibilitywasexceptional--30meterseasily--andwecouldseethatClarkandGary'sboreholehadsimplycontinuedonunderwater.Weleveledoffat-20metersandfinnedalongway.Ibegantofeelwemighthavebitofftoobigajobforthosesingletanks.As weapproachedourone-thirdlimit,thepassageshotupanear-verticalshaft.At190meterspenetration,wecouldmakeoutamirroredsurface,andwepoppedupintoalargelakechamber,perhaps50metersindiameter.Theonlywayonappearedtobea15meterdiameterholeintheroof,20metersabovethelake.Robfreeclimbedthepitchandtookoff.Thirtyminuteslaterhereturned,sayinghehadseenhalfakilometerof10meter-diametergalleryandhadstoppedata"whackinggreatchamber".Illuminatingthechamber,hewasunableto

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ThetriptookplaceonMarch1,afterrepeatedsupplyrunsthroughSumpIItostockpiletanks.PatandI,thelastteamthroughSumpIII,stackedourgearonaconvenientflowstonebankandswamacrossthelagoontothebaseofthe20-meterpitch.Shortly,wehadalineupandwereonourway.Rob,Pat,andIbegansurveying.Twohourslater,wearrivedattheWhackingGreatChamber.Inthespaceofthenexthourwebarelyscratchedtheroom.Thewidthwastapedat60meters,butthelengthwaspushing2UOmeters.Theceilingwasestimatedat40meters.Wehadcomeintotheroomatthelowendofagiantbreakdownpile.Itrosetoasaddleinthemiddleoftheroombeforeitslopedbackdownintoacanyonfilledwithbig,water-scouredboulders.Fromadistance,itwaseasytovisualizetherainyseasontorrentboilingupfromthatcanyon,flowingacrossthelowsaddle,andthendumpingbackdownintothetunnelleadingtoSumpIII.Rob,Pat,andIpressedonwiththesurveydownintothecanyonahead.Werandown200metersof10-metersquarepassageuntilthebeddingbegantodipdownintothewater.Itlookedlikeasump.Fortunately,ithadameterofairspace,andwe swambOmeterstoasandyshoreonthefarside.Thethreeofuslookedatthisbig,flat,sandyareaandatoneanother,andsaidalmostsimultaneously,"Camp1."Thepassagethentookontrulylargeproportions,15metersby20meters,andshotupa20-degreeslope.Robextendedhishandsouttowardthetunnel,asifhewerepresentingittous,andexclaimed,"NowthisiswhatIcametoMexicofor!"Inall,wesurveyed800metersthatday,stoppingdiscernturnedganizepush.anywallsorceiling.Weretobasecamp,intendingtoortwosurveypartiesforalongWHACKINGGREATUpperlevelformationpassageaboveTheWhackingGreatChamber.(BillStone)atthebaseofa20-metershaftwherethebighorizontaltunnelwentuponendataverticalfold.GiventheclimbandtheremotenessoftheleadbeyondSumpsIIandIII,weconcludedthata campwouldbenecessaryforanyfutureeffort.CAMPIBackinbasecamp,weselectedsixofustostaffthecamp.Freeze-driedfoodrationswerethenpreparedforaten-daypush.EightfulltankswithregulatorsandbackpacksweresubsequentlystockedatSumpIII,alongwithsome800poundsofperipheralequipment.Togetdrygearsuchassleepingbagsthroughthesumps,wehaddevelopedmachinedPVCtubeswithpressureend-platesandO-ringseals.Usingthesetubes,anda5/16-inchPMI49

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handlinethroughSumpIII,Rob,Bob,Noel,John,Gary,andClarkmovedintoCampI.Theworstproblemsweretheduffelsoffreeze-driedfood,whichrequired135poundsofleadbrickstogetthemtosink.Allthecontainerscompressedtoone-thirdtheirvolumeastheyreachedmaximumdepthinSumpIII.Theywerethenso"negative"that75poundsofleadhadtobejetisonedtogetthemoffthefloor.Whencomingoutthefarside,thepackagesre-inflatedlikelittlelifevests,andtheduffleswouldrocketuptheshafttothelagoon.By10:30p.m.,March5,thesixofthemhadleveledoutthesiteforCamp Ionthesandpilewehaddiscoveredearlier.BOREHOLEThefollowingmorning,Robscaledthe25-metershaftatthelimitofexplorationandriggedafixedline.TheythenembarkedononeofthefinestdiscoverytripsyetloggedbeneaththeHuautlaPlateau.Morethanoneandahalfkilometersofgallerywasseenthatday,mostaveraging10metersby20metersincross-section,andheadingnorth.Attheend,theyhadcomeacrossa60-meter-diameterroom--theReliefChamber,namedforthegreatverticalvariationacrossitswidth.Twopassagesemanatedfromthisroom.OnewentwestandsumpedThe60-meterswimthroughtheGrandLagoonbeforeCampI.(BillStone)50inanareaofdeepsilt.Theotherwentnorthtoa20-meterflowstoneshaft.Theydescendedthisadaylater,onlytofindthatittooledintoadeepbluepool--SumpIV.Despitethisdisappointment,itwasresolvedonthespottoreturntoSumpIIIandpickupthetwofullesttanks.ClarkwouldthenusetheseforasolopushonIV.BecauseofthelackoftanksthissideofSumpIII,BobandGarywouldreturntothesurfaceforarestock.Thatafternoon,Rob,Noel,andBobfinishedaclimbintheWhackingGreatChamber,wheretheydiscovered200metersofoutstandingformationgallery,10metersby15meters.Itcontainednumerouswhite,crystallinestalagmitestowering8meterstallandmeasuring3metersacrossattheirbase.Butitdidnot,ashadbeenhoped,leadtoanotherentrance.SUMPIVLateontheafternoonofthefourthday,ClarkkittedupatthebaseoftheflowstoneshaftatSumpIV.Thisonehadthecleanestentryandthegreatestpromise.Theothersump,downinthesiltmounds,hadbeenlabeledSumpIV-A.Clark'sdivewasalight-weightoperation,relativelyspeaking,andwastheforerunnerforourmodisoperandiinmoreremotelocationstocome.Despitetheinherentdangerindivingsolo,itspeduptheoperationandgaveusthemostproductivityforagivenamountofhauling.Specialprecautionsweretakentoallowthediverrapidaccesstothevalvingsystemandeasymonitoringofitsperformance.At4:53p.m.hedisappearedintothebluetunnel.NoelandRobcouldseethebiglight-beamflashingaroundforsometime.Thepoolthenwentblack,theripplessettled,andthesurfacebecameglass-smooth.Theywaitedpatiently.TwohourspassedandClarkhadstillnotreturned.NoelturnedtoRobandsaid,"Gotanyideasonwhattodoifhedoesnot

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comeback?"Robrubbedhischin,andtheystaredatthesumpsomemore.SURFACERECONWhiletheundergroundexplorationwastakingplace,thesurfacecrewbeganlookingfornewentrances.Therewasnolackofprospects.Thecanyonwallswerepepperedwithblackholes.Unfortunately,alloftheseweremorethan200metersoffthefloor,guardedbysheer,cactus-studdedwalls.ThemostspectacularholeeasilymeasuredSOmeterssquare.SergioZambranoandI cameacrossanoldMazatectrailthatledusoutoverthetopofthebighole.JohnZumrick,whohadjustarrived,andPatsetupanobservationpostonthePenaColorada.Withtheaidofapairofbinocularsanda3wattFMtransceiver,theyhomedusinonthetarget.At5p.m.,inthefailinglightofdusk,IrappelledovertheedgeandbeganaSO-meterfreefalldescentintothemouth.Theexposurewasawesome,whichmadethediscoverywewereabouttomakeallthemoreincredible.IhadscarcelyundonemyrackandradioedforSergiotocome downwhenInoticedsomethingpeculiar.Thereweretworaised,circularstoneplatforms,perhaps10metersindiameterandnestedoneontopoftheother.Inthemiddleweretwolarge,flat,rectangularslabsmeasuring1meterby2meters.Attheheadofeachwasasimilarstonethatwasraisedvertically.Weshortlywentoffdownthebigtunnel,settingafastpacefor600meters.Thedimensionsnevervaried-20meterswidewithabroadarchedroof10metersoverhead.Itwasbonedry,andtherewasa2-centimeterlayeroffinedustonthefloor,absolutelyundisturbed.Thetemperaturebegantorisesharplyneartheend,wheretheceilingslopeddownintothedirt.Justasweturnedtoheadout,Sergionoticedthreeunmistakablecarbonmarkingsonthewall.Wealsodiscoveredburntwoodparticlesfromsomecrudetorchesscatteredalongthefloor.Wewerenotthefirstexplorersofthiscave.NooneelsevisitedCuevadelAltaruntiloveramonthlater,whenGaryandSergioreturnedtocompletethesurvey.Butthequestionremains--howhadthey,theancientMazatecs,doneit?SOLOSUCCESSBackatSumpIV,agreenishlightglimmeredinthedistance,andCiarksurfacedtoabarrageofquestions.Sump IVwas55meterslong,reachinga maximumdepthofonly10meters.Beyond,therewasa100-meter-longairbellthatendedatSump V,andthenthingsgotcomplex.Sump Vwasafloodedphreaticmazeatadepthof12meters.Hehadspentthemajorityoftwohoursunderwater,pokingineveryOneofthemanylakesbeyondSump VIenroutetoCampII.51

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SUMPVIalongtheroutethatweredumpingwaterintothesystem.BobandRobhadscaledthreepitchesandrundown350rnetersoflargetunnel.Whatcamenextwastotallyunexpected--a57meterfreefallshaft.Theyfortunatelyhada70-meterstaticlinealongwiththem.Bobdescendedfirst.Itwas12metersindiameterandtotallyfree.Theropelandedinasump,darkanddeep.Threedayslater,RobkittedupbackatSumpVI.Thedivewas7Umeterslongat12metersdepth,andendedinasandbankwithanairbelloverhead.Therewasanarrowpassagegoingoff,butthestreamsankinthesand.Robdroppedthetanksandscootedupthefissure.Itsoonmetalargecanyon,andshortlyherealizedhe'dloopedaroundbacktothebeginningofthesump.NoelandRobwentbacktorechecktheplacewherethestreamenteredthesand.Therewasnopossibilityoffollowingit.Therewereonlytwooptionsleftnow:scalingtheincomingdomesbeyondSump VIordivingSumpVII.depotVII.WorkingongearattheSump IVduringthesecondpushonSump(NoelSloan)branch,beforehewoundthroughthecorrectroute.Neartheend,hecouldmakeoutareflectionofair-filledpassageupthroughanarrowrift.Hewas140metersintothediveandwasdeterminedtoknowwhatwasupthere.Aminutelaterhisheadwasintheairbell,buthewasalsosolidlywedgedinthefissure.Thesafetylinehadwrappedaroundhisfinsinthestruggletobackout.ButheforcedhiswaythroughtoChamber6.Lookingback,hecouldseea muchwiderbypassaroundthefissure.Here-laidthedivelinethroughthelargerroute,then,infulldivegear,walkeddown100metersofpassage.Hecametoaclimbthathefeltwouldrequiretechnicalgeartoscale.Withthisinformationhereturned.Itwasanoutstandingpieceofexplorationforoneman.WithintwodaystheentirecampteamwasbackatSumpIV.Sincethenextobstaclewasaverticalshaft,itwasdecidedtoputthetwobestclimbers,RobandBob,onthenextpush.Theytookalongadynamicropeandaclimbingkit.RobandBobfoundapleasantsurprisewaitingforthembeyondSump V.Havingallbuttheirfarmer-johnsuitsandadaypack,theydiscoveredClark'swalltobefree-climbable.For200meterstheyascendedasteeplyinclinedten-meterdiameter,scallopedtunnel.Thentheybegandescendingsteeplyforanother180meterstoanothersump,SumpVI.Anactivestreamledintoalonglake,whichtheywereabletoswimsome60meterstowhereanotherincomingshaftbroughtyetanotheractivestream.Sump VIwasclearlyadownstreamsump,anditlookeddeep.Robvolunteeredtodiveitifsomeonewouldcomeintosupporthim.Butfirst,theydecidedtoclimbuptheinfeederpassageonthefarsideofthesump.Totheirsurprise,itgraduallyopenedupintoanotherlarge,steeplyascending,scallopedtunnel.ItwasnearlyidenticaltotheonebetweenSumps VandVI,withtheexceptionthattherewerenowdomesall52

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SUMPVIIOnMarch16,barelythreedaysafterthefirstcampingteamreturnedtothesurface,JohnZumrick,Pat,Bob,andIarrivedbackatCamp IforapushonSumpVII.TwodaysBobandI,assistedbyJohnandPat,setoffforwhatwastobea19-hourtriptoSumpVII.Ikittedupatthetopofthe57-metershaftandrappelledwiththetanks,adualfrontmountedset,tetheredbelowme.Bobassistedwithkittingupinthewater.Inthecourseoftwodives,Iworkeddownthroughabreakdowncomplextoadepthof40meters.Therethepassagetookoffasalarge,horizontaltunnelmeasuring10metersby20metersandcrystalclear.Beingsoloandnearmysafeairlimit,Icalledthediveatthatpoint.IpresumedthatJohn,whowasthebetterdiver,wouldbeuptorthenextpush.BackatCampI,JohnexpressedseriousconcernoverattemptingadeeppenetrationdiveinVIIwithoutsomeunusualprecautionarymeasurestoprotectthediversfromacaseofuntreatablebends.Theseincluded:CampIIsetatthetopofthe57-metershaft,now knownasSherwoodShaft,beyondSumpsIV,V,andVI;pureoxygenfordecompression;abuddy;andintravenoussteroidsandotherIVdrugsforon-sitetreatmentofthebends,intheeventthatsomethingwentwrong.ThediverswouldhavetorestoveranhouratthebaseoftheshaftafterdecompressingonoxygenbeforebeginningtheirascenttoCampII,andwouldspendthenightthere"degassing"beforeheadingforCampI.TheoperationtookplacefromMarch24toApril3.JohnZumrickandClarkweretodotheexploratorydive,withRobandIbeingthedesignatedsurvey/pushteam.Wewereequippedfora40-hourbivouacbeyondSumpVII.Fourdaysintothecave,JohnandClarkdidthedive.Theyreachedapenetrationof125metersbeyondtheendofmylineatadepthof49meters.Clarksaidhewassufferingfromnarcosis,andhedroppedthelinespoolintheprocessoftieingitoff.Itplunetedto-55metersandstillremainsthere.Theygaveitthebestwecouldhopefor.Thegallerystillcontinues10metersbyLOmetersincrosssection,crystalclear,beckoning,andheadingnorth.ALTERNATIVESJohnandClark'sefforthadrequired3000poundsofequipmenttoaccomplish.Atthatpoint,giventheteamandtechnologyavailabletous,we madethetoughdecisiontobeginthede-rig.FourorfivedayswerespentscalingupintohighpassagesinhopesofbypassingSumpVII.Fourdomeswereattempted,andalleventuallybecametootightorunclimbable.Inall,wehadspenttwentythreedaysworkingbeyondCampI.CampII,setbeyondfoursumps,wasoccupiedforsixdays.Thesurveyedlengthofthecavewas7.8kilometers,andforalloureffortwehadclosed30percentofthegaptotheSotanodeSanAgustin.WespenttheremainderofAprilscoutingtheCamaronandupcanyonareas,deriggingthemaincave,andsearchingforleadsoff524-meterlongSumpI.TwomultishaftsystemswereexplorednearCamaron,SotanodelCafetal(-110meters)andSotanodeDonFelixCarrera(-260).Twonotablecaveswereaccessedviatechnicalascentsupthewallsofthecanyon:GourdCave,whichhadextensiveancientMazatecstructuressimilartothosefoundinCuevadelAltar,andVineCave.ThelatterheldgreatpromiseasthekeythatwouldleadusbackintothemountainbeyondSumpVII.ItwasevidentfromtheplungepoolatthebaseofthecliffthatwaterhadflowedfromVineCaveonaregularbasisatsometimeinthepast.RobandIscaledthesheer70-meterclifftotheentranceandsawsome350metersofbooming10-meterby15-metergallerybeforecomingunex-53

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pectedlytoasump.AdaylaterBobdiveditwithaninvertedback-mountedrigandsucceededinreachingacontinuationofthebiggallery120metersaway.Uponditchinghisdivegear,herandownanother350metersofsteeplydescendingpassagebeforecomingtoyetanothersump.Itwasbigandclear,andtherewasalargeactivestreamenteringit.Thissumpwent200metersandendedinamudplug.MORELEADSAnunexploredstream-sinkknownastheSumideroSantaCatarina,locatedinthebroadvalleybelowSanMiguel,hadbeendiscoveredinthespringof1981,buthadnotyetbeenentered.What madeitsotemptingwasLookingoutofVineCavetowardsthePenaColorada.(RobParker)54thatitwasperched500metersaboveand500metersnorthofSumpVII.ButGaryandJohnEvanswereabletoexploreonly100metersbeforeitchokedinanimpassablefissure.TheWesternResurgence,anotherinterestingleadleftoverfromthe1982reconnaissancemission,wasexploredontwosolodivesbyJohnEvansandmyselftoapenetrationof150metersandadepthof20meters.Itscoursewaspredominantlyduesouth,anditstillcontinuesasa3-meterby-3-metertunnelwithnoticableflow.However,thisdirectiontakesitintothemountainrangeacrosstheRioSantoDomingofromHuautla.ThusitdoesnotappearlikelythatitisapartofSistemaHuautla.Wefoundanotherlargespringonthenorthsideoftheriverthatalsocarriedenoughwatertoaccountforthesystem.Unfortunately,itbecameimpassable30metersintothedive.Thedivingefforttore-exploreSump IinPeriaColoradaresultedinthediscoveryofaconsiderableamountofadditionalunderwaterpassage,aswellasaconnectiontoanew,thirdentrance.Butthehopesthatanoffshootbranchmightheadwestandintersectahypotheticalactivestreamchannelnevermaterialized.THECHALLENGESo wewereneverabletofindabypasstoSumpVII.Weretheresultsoftheeffortworthtwoyearsofpaperwork,amonthofspecializedtraining,andfourmonthsoftankhauling?TothisIthinkmostmembersoftheteamwouldanswer"yes."Perhapsthemostsignificantaccomplishmentsoftheexpeditionwerenotthedistancereachedandthenumberofsumpspassed,buttheadvancesmadeinpsychology,logistics,andsafetyintheexplorationofthislastfrontierofcaving.Morethansixhundredcavediveswereloggedduringthecourseoftheexpedition,vithaperfectsafetyrecord.AbetterfeelfortheamountofdiVingdoneisgivenbythesurvey

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(0)LaPenaColoradaSumpICanyonEntranceProfile180ViewSumpIIL.ENGTH14DEPTH6\I...\if(mProfile0ViewSumpIIILENGTH190DEPTH20TheWhackingGreatGilamberElevationGrandLagoon200lN.SloanA.SotoB.StoneP.StoneGStorrickM.TillmanS.ZambranoJ.Zumrick_____IIPROFILE90VIEWDraftedbyBillStoneAugust1984NumbersbesidepitchesindicaterequiredropelengthforriggingALLUNITSMETERSSuunto8andtapeSurveytheU.S.DeepCavingTeamITheHuautlaProjectMay1981B.StoneP.StoneApril1982B.StoneJ.ZumrickP.StoneFeb.-May1984J.ArnoldR.BeauchampJ.EvansR.ParkerC.PitcairnP.QuickMunicipiodeHuautladeJimenezyMunicipiodeMazatlanOaxaca,MexicoCuevadelaPeiiaColoradaWhiteHallSumpIV-ALENGTH125DEPTH20TheReliefChamberSumpIVLENGTH'55DEPTH'12DebrisSumpVLENGTHDEPTH'12SumpVILENGTH40DEPTH'12North-WestCorridorPenaColoradaCanyon4.2KilometersupstreamfrommainentranceSumpVIILEGTH.165+DEPTH'49Ceiling55+FloorSherwoodShaft?Elevation(Datum:MainEntrance)Profile0ViewMETERSSumpXIIILENGTH120DEPTH25Profile0Viewo1984BillStone

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oftheknowncavesofthePellaColoradacanyon:ofthe9kilometerschartedbytheexpedition,2.16,or24percent,wereunderwater.Giventhispercentage,isthereanyhopeoftraversingthecenteroftheHuautlaPlateauviathebaselevelgallery?Thereareoptions,basedonclosedcircuitscuba,opentodevelopmentthatmayallowustodoit,butthehighlyspecializedlong-rangeandredundantsystemsneededwouldprobablytakethreetofouryearsofconcentratedefforttoproduce.Thiswould,intheory,allowasmallteamofthreetofourdiverstocrackSumpVII,andtheonesbeyond,andeventuallycompletethedreamofreachingtheSotanodeSanAgustinfrombelow.EXPEDICIONPENACOLORADA1984Ungrupode11espeleologosretornaroenfebrerode1984alcanonSantoDomingoenelmacisocalcareodeHuautla.ConlametadebucearlaresurgenciadePellaColoradayconectaras!conelsotanodeSanAgustin,detalmaneraqueelgrupousoelmasavanzadoysofisticadoequipodeespeleobuceo.LacuevadelaPellaColoradafueexploradapara9100metros,progresandoestavez7830metrosendirecciondeSanAgustin.Laexloracionsedesarrollasobrenuevesifones,dandountotalde1350metrosdepasajesinundados.Debidoalalongitudyduraciondelasexploraciones,doslugaresdeacamparseestablecieron.Todoslossifonesencontradoshansidoformadosenelplegamientodelestratocalcareo,yelestratoimpermeablepareceserelresponsabledelresarrollodedichonivelacuifero.ElmayorobstaculofueelsifonVII,puesselocalizaalfondodeuntirode54metros.Laexploracionterminoenunpasajehorizontalde10por13metrosendiametroaunaprofundidadde56metros.Ochocavernasmasseexploraronconelfindesaltearelseptimosifon.DestacandoseentreelIaslaCuevadelAltaryVineCave.Enestaultimasetopografiaronunkilometro,buceandosedossifones.EnlospasajessenilesdeCuevadelAltarseencontraronunsantuarioantiguofabricadoenrocasenposicionvertical.EnelseccionsuperiordelmacisocalcareoselocalizaronelsatanGdeDonFelixCarrera,consistiendoenvariostirosqueterminena195metros.55

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GrutadelPrecipicioBillSteeleTheSpanishword"precipicio"translatesto"precipice"inEnglish.Anycaverwhohasbeentothecaveknows whyitwasnamedthat.Fromtheword"Go"upthatmountainitisoneprecipiceedgeafteranother.Iwonderifthereisanothercaveanywherewithsuchanordealjusttogettotheentrance,and,ofcourse,backdownagain.Fromtheroadbelow,ablackdotcanbeseenwayuponaformidablesetofcliffs.Thatdotbecomesaclassically-shapedphreatictunnelwhenyou'restandinginit.IwenttoGrutadelPalmito(usuallycalledBustamante,thenameofthenearbytown)manytimesbeforeIfinallygottoseethecaveinsidethatfar-off,highdotknownasPreci-56AMexicanClassicplC10.Ihadheardthatitwasacaveyouwouldprobablyonlywanttodoonce.WhenyoucampintheBustamanteCanyon,youdriveunderneaththecave'scommandingview.YouwonderattheoriginalquestoftheHoustoncaverswhoattemptedthedirectapproachofskirtingcliffsandstairsteppingthiswayandthatuptotheimpossibleentrance.Fromtheroaditappearsyoucouldrappeldowntotheentrance,butthereisnoapparentwaytogettothetopofthecliffitisin.EventuallyaningeniousrouteuptoPrecipiciowasfound.Wayovertotheright,aroundaridgethatslopesdownthemountain,isasteepspineofoutcropthatsoarsuptobecomethe

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topofthecliffthatPrecipiciopunctuates.Iwasonatriponcethatgotuptothecaveintwohoursfromthevehicles.It'satremendousclimb,andtheviewgetsbetterwitheverymetergained.Buttoclimbup,dothecave,andclimbbackdowninthesamedayisjustabittoomuch.Ididitthatwaymyfirsttrip,andwilladmittohavingabettertimeonsubsequenttrips.Thesetimeswetooksleepingbagsandotherprovisionsforanovernightstayinthepassagejustinsidetheentrance.Whenyoucampupthere,youcanlingerlongerinthecave.Gettingbacktotheentrancecamplateatnightdoesn'tmatter.Youcancome downoffthemountaininsunlightthenextday.INSIDE Astheaccompanyingmapshows.therearenice-sizedpassagesinPrec1p1C10.Therearesomedrops.too.Theentrancepassageisabeautifullysculpted.oval-shapedtunnel,withverylight-coloredwalls.Itleadsover250meterstothefirstdrop.Thetopthirdofthis42-meterdropisagainstthewall.Awideledgeisencounteredthen.Belowthisledgethebottomtwo-thirdsofthedropisfree-hangingdowntothefloorofa30-meter-highfissurepassage.Thishighpassagegoestwoways.Inthesoutherlydirection,anoverlookintoalargeroomisencountered.Downthisl3-meterdropistheBustamantelikepartofthecave.Atthebaseofthedropisasteepbreakdownslope.Atthetopoftheslopeandbackdowntheotherside,aretreetrunk-sizedstalagmites.Thislargeroomistheonemostpeoplecometotour.Itisphotogenicandimpressive.Itdeadendsafterabout250meters,butbringssmilestothefaces.ofthosecaverswhoappreciatespacious,adornedcaverns.Thisbigpassagecanoccupyagroupforseveralhours,seeingitall,andphotographingtheforestsofformations.North,awayfromthedropintotheformationarea,thepassageleadstoplacesthathaveenticedafewcaversinrecentyears.Thepassageheadsbacktowardthestair-steppingclifffacetheentranceisin.A2-meterdiameterpitagainsttheleftwallleadstothelowerlevel,namedtheWormTubes.TherearefivedropsintheWormTubes.Itistherethattheairmovementinthecaveismostpronounced.Moreonthatlater.DOMEPUSHInthefallof1979,MarkMintonandIclimbeduptoa domeattheendofthepassagebeyondthepittotheWormTubes.Thedomewasdifficulteventogetupto.Aroomwithcrumblywallshadaceilingthatononesideopenedupintoblacknessabove.Ithadtobedone.Weclimbeduponthewall,squeezedintoafissure,thenafteracoupleofclimbs,carnebackouttothedome.Thewallofthedomewasacrustyclimbthatlookedpromising.Theceilingcurvedawayinadirectionwesensedwastowardtheoutsidecliffface.Wespokeofwhatagreatadditiontothiscaveitwouldbetohaveathrough-tripcomingbackouttotheBustamanteCanyonwalls.Wewereapproximately20metersabovetheultimatebottomdownbelow.Plentyofdirtandcrustfellaswemovedaround.constantlyremindingusoftheexposure.Itookaturnandmade ajammoveinacrustycorner,uptoastablestance.MarkstoodandwaspreparedtopullmeinifIshouldhappentopulloffandsaildownpasthim.ThreemetersabovemeIsawaprojectionthatbeggedforalasso.Itiedabigloopintheendoftheandinafewthrowssnaggedit.Theloopwasn'tasfarbackontheprojectionasIwouldhaveliked,butthepull-testIgaveitfeltgood.IOpposite:AviewofGrutadelPrecipiciofromthecanyon.(KeithHeuss)57

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Breakdownpassagebelowthe42-meterdrop.(KeithHeuss)pulledmyselfupwhileclawingintothecrustanddirtwall.I movedupmaybeameter,thendecidedmoreprotectionreallywasprudent.Ibackeddownandshooktherope.Itsnappedofftheprojectionandfellaroundus.Itwasfouryearslater,November1983,beforewewerebackatthatdomelead.Wehadboltsandpitonsandseveralpeople.Somepeoplewenttoseethemountain-formationroom,somebeganriggingdownintotheWormTubes,andMarkandIreturnedtothedomeclimb.Soonwehadsetagoodbelaystancebolt.Markbelayedwithabelayplate,andIgotupovertwometerstoaplacetoputanotherboltin.AfterthesecondonewasinIlassoedtheprojection,asIhaddonebefore.ThistimeIgotitonbetter.WhenMarkwasreadytofeedmerope,Iclimbedonupandgotevenwiththeprojection.Itwasn'ttoogood!Thetophadaflatspot,butthensloped58down.Icouldseeagroovefromthetimebefore,andwasreallygladthatIhadn'tclimbeduponitthen,unbelayed.Therewasanotherthreemeterstoclimbabovetheprojection.When Ihaddonethat,Ifoundthattherewasnopassageupthere.Youjustcouldn'ttelluntilyougotallthewayup.MarkjoinedmeatthetopafterIhadplacedalastbolt.Inmomentsweheardsomeonecoming:itwasRobertHemperly.Hecamehandover-handinguptous.HehadlefthisverticalgearbackatthetopoftheWormTubes.HIGHLEVELLEADFromthetopofthedome,wecouldseewhatlookedlikeahigh-levelpassageontheoppositesideofthedome.OnthewaybacktotheWormTubes,Mark,RobertandI,aidedbyourWheatLamps,searchedforandfinallysawa wayuptothehighlevelpassage.Theclimblookedclosetoimpossiblewithoutinsertingdirectaidofsomekind.Itwouldbeachimneythatwouldbebody-lengthwideinplaces.Robertvolunteeredtotryit.Hestartedtheclimb,andinmomentswasclosetohalfwayup.Atthatpointweaskedhimtocatcharopeandtakeanendwithhim.Ifhegotup,wepreferredaropetobeabletojoinhim.Hecaughttheropeandtookit.Atonepointheappearedtohavehisfeethigherthanhisheadinhiswidechimney.Itwasjustmarginallyclimbable.Finally,hewasthere,andsaidthattheropewastiedoff.Markbeganhisascent.Hewaslessthantwometersup,withJumarsengaged,wheninaflashhewasfalling!Iscurriedoutoftheway,andinstantlyMarkwasonmyheels,shoutingformetoclimboutfarther.Whenallhadcleared,welookedcloselyandfoundthatawatermelon-sizedrockwaswhereIhadbeensitting.Andinthecanyonbelow,withRobert'slooptiedaroundit,wasarockingchair-sizedrock.Roberthadtiedtheropetoalooserock15metersaboveus.

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a ameterss.IPASSAGETHECANyON_d1PrecipicioLaGrutaeNuevo LeonMunicipiode'bytheAMeSSuuntosandapeFebruary1974Tube'January1973*TbeWo,mThBigRoomGillEd!ger*eJ'1lEdIgerTheCanyonPa"age8tmFl,min'th'fu.""fuffiyth'FlngPrestoGnraFvoerssyJohnl8tmem,JhN'JhnG"",.;'hVin"nMoerbheMaryMKoaeYrbeMikeWalsWaaynneRussellMikeWalshDanWatson,&N.MorrisBHarrisonDraftedbyJ,Graves'IIIICANYONBLAKE'SDOWNFAllMAINENTRANCE

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twilight.FromEIGatoashortstepofthepull-downrouteleadsintotheupperentranceofatwo-entrancecave--EIViento(thewind).Thiscaveslopesdown30meterstoanotherentrance,wherethereisadrop-offattheendofanunstabletalusslope.Hereastoutbushiswhateveryonehastiedtoforthenextrappel.Thereisaslingofwebbingaroundthebushwithonechainlinkonit.Theslingisbestrplacedeverytrip.Atthebottomofthethirdrappel,averysteepbrush-coveredscreeslopeleadstodropsthatcanbedown-climbedortraversedaround.Eventuallyitbecomeslesssevere,andonecanwalkondowntotheroad,usuallytakingslightlylongerthanthosewalkingdownthewaytheywentup.Somehavetakenaninordinateamountoftimetorappeldown.Itisatechnicalundertaking,andstraighteningTHEWORMTUBESTheupperleveldid'ntgo.WejoinedthepeopleintheWormTubesintimetotaketheleadwheretheyhadfoundarockjalmnedin,blockingpassagetothetopofapit.Weremovedtherockandwentondownthreemoredropstowhereitreallygetstubelike.Intheendwesawnothingnotalreadyshownonthemap,butthereisstrongairflowdownthere.Theairgoesmainlydown asteepslot,15centimeterswide.Somethingsurelyisdownthere.It'sprobablylowerlevels,oralowerentrance.When wecameoutoftheWormTubes,Iheardvoicesandknewsomethingmustbewrong.Thepeopletalkingwouldbethefolkswhohadsupposedlyheadedtothecampintheentranceacoupleofhoursbefore.Theytoldmetheropewashopelesslyplaced30metersabove.Twoofthemhadalreadyclimbedupandtriedtoretrieveit,buthadcomebackdown.Theropewascaughtbackinareallybadcrack.IfiguredIhadtechniqueenoughtomanagetheclimb,soIhad8.greatchancetofunwiththeseguyswithoutreallybeingworried.Isaid,"Well,ifyouguyscouldn'tmakeit,Iguesswe'restuckhere.Mywifewon'tgetconcerneduntilMonday,shewon'tdoanythingaboutituntilTuesday,andnoonewillgethereuntilWednesday,perhapsThursday."Icouldseetheireyespromptlyenlarge.Ithenofferedtohaveagoatit.Theropeinthefissurewasawkwardtoclimbto,butpossibleforaHuautlaveteran.THEDESCENTOnethingI'vedoneontwoofmyfourtripstoPrecipicioisthegreatpull-downrappelfromtheentrance,straightdowntowardtheroad.I recolrumend aIOO-meterropetodoit.Fromtheentranceyoudouble-linedowntotheentranceofanothercaveimmediatelybelownamedEIGato.Itisaveryshortcave,nevergettingoutofRappellingPrecipicio.onapull-downtrip(MaureenHandler)from59

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fntT!lno:eF.l"etooutofropesandriggingsothatnothingwillgetsnaggedcanabsorbmuchtimeifyouletit.(Editor'snote:careshouldbetakenonthesteepslopesofthepull-downroute.Acaverrecentlytookafalltherethatresultedinabrokenbone.)PrecipicioisaclassicMexicancavetrip.ItsproximitytoBustamantemakesitagooddouble-headerfortravellingcavershittingtheareaonthewaythrough.ForTexascaversitisanexcitingweekendtripofphysicaloutputandfunrope-work.Thereareamplecampingspotsintheentranceareaforuptoadozencavers,butbeforewarnedthatthereisabsolutelynowateravailableonthemountain.AgallonperpersonisthebareminimumforaPrecipiciojaunt.Precipicioisagoodtrainingcaveforthecaverjustgettingstartedinverticalcaving.Itisnottoberecommendedforafirstcave,butisagoodsecondorthirdverticalcave.Atripuptherewillshowanewcaverhowstrenuouscavingcanbe,andhowrealcaversloveitthatway.BeawarethatPrecipicioisnowvoidofanyvandalism.Therearefootprints,butthatisall.Ipper-t:ntrflnl:e'ii(ont:)sIio1Ojo del GatoyCuevadelos VientosN.!,.."":.".I:.Suuntoandsurvey3-1",-..6by:A.'-'ent'J.,;.O}r.:"'.',o;.;er".ntraneL,s"ient:>sGRUTADELPRECIPICIOUnaexploracionfuehechaenlagrutadelPrecipicio,queseencuentraenelestadodeNuevoLeon,afinderealizardosescaladasenunaboveda.Sinembargo,nohuboalgunpasajeendichaboveda.60

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CuevadelariaRosaJimPisarowiczThesunwasalreadylowintheskybythetimewehadmadeourwayupthecanyontothecaveentrance.EarlierthatafternoonLouiseHose,TomStrong,andIhadinquiredaboutcavesinthesmallvillageofPotreroRedondo,NuevoLeon.TherewehadacquiredtheservicesofSr.PablinoValdez,whovolunteeredtoshowusanearbycave.As weenteredasidecanyon,everythingbecamefamilar.IhadpreviouslyvisitedthePotreroRedondoareainSeptember1983withPeterandTerriSprouseandhadbeenshownthissamecave.Atthattimewehadcome downfromabove,insteadofthehikeupthecanyonwehadjustcompleted.Duringthatearliertrip,Peter,Terri,andIhadnotenteredfarintotheCuevadelaTiaRosa,becausealargelakeattheentrancehadstoppedourprogress.ItwasnowJanuary1984andtherewasnolake,andthepassagewaylookedinviting.Attheentrance,Sr.Valdez,whohadinformedusthathewas84yearsold,pointeddownthepassageandtoldLouisethatwewouldneedlights.LouiseandIhadbothbroughtflashlights,whichimmediatelybroughtabroadgrintoSr.Valdez'sface.Hewantedtogointothecavewithus.Tom,havingforgottenalight,decidedtoremainoutside.Sr.Valdezwashardtokeepupwith,ashequicklymadehisway downtheentrancepassage.Thiswasamazing,consideringhisageandthathewasrelyingontheincidentallightfromLouise'sandmylights.Wefollowedafterhimashevirtuallyflewthroughthefirst60to80metersofcave.Suddenly,Sr.Valdezstopped,lookingasthoughhewouldfalloffthelargebreakdownblockhewasstandingon.Igrabbedhisarm.Itfeltlikeastrongsteelcable.At84yearsofage,hemayhavebeenMappingneartheentranceinTiaRosa.(JimPisarowicz)61

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strongerthanI am.Atthispoint,itwasbecomingapparentthathewasconfusedabouthowtoproceed.Weturnedaroundandmadeourwaybacktowardtheentranceandthesettingsun.REVOLUCIONARIOSOnceoutside,LouisebegantoengageSr.ValdezinahaltingSpanishconversationaboutthecave.Wewereamazedbyhistale.ApparentlySr.Valdez,asayoungboy,hadactedasacourierandcarriedfoodtothecaveforaunitoffiftyrevolutionaries.Thesemenhadlivednear,andoccasionallyin,thecaveforaboutonehundreddays.Hetoldoffightinginthemountains,butbecauseofthelapsesinhismemory(hewasonly8to10yearsoldatthetime)andourintermediateSpanish,thefinedetailsofthisamazingstorywerelost.Thenextdayweagainhikedthecanyontothecave,thistimearmedwithafullcomplimentofcavingandsurveyingequipment.Werapidlyranthesurveylinedowntheentrancepassage,leavingseveralleadsthatweweregoingtopickuponourwayoutofthecave.Thisareawasincrediblycoldduetothetremendouswindthatwasblowingintothecave.Weallshiveredourwayexcitedlydownthesepassages.BeforelongwehadpassedourfurthestpenetrationwithSr.Valdez.Herethecavemadeasharpbendtotheright(west).Goingaroundthiscorner,Tomsawsomethingmovingveryrapidly.Lookingaboutthefloor,hediscoveredasmalltreefrog.Wewereallamazedaswewereover100metersintothecave.Pokingaroundthisarea,wequicklyansweredthequestionoftheoriginofthefrogandtheevenmoreinterestingquestionofthestiffwind.PeeringupaIS-meterdome,onecouldseeasmallspotofsunlight.ThedomewascalledHylideaDome,inhonorofthetreefrogwehadfoundthere.62Aprimitiveloggate.(JimPisarowicz)Wecontinuedthesurveytothewest,butthewalkingpassagesoonended.Itooktheonlyleadavailablewhichwasunderalowshelf.ThereIencounteredasmalllake.Thepassagewasverylow.AsTomandLouisewerefinishingthedetailsonthesketch,Ipushedahead.Afterabouttenmoremeters,Icameuponapassage,completelyfilledwithwater.Athinlayerofcalcite-raftmaterialcoatedthesurface.Pushingoninthecooltemperaturesofthecavewithoutwetsuitswasoutofthequestion.Ireturnedtoinformtheothersofthisdevelopment.Asitwasgettinglate,wedecidedtofinishthesideleadsthatwehadpassedonourwayintothecave.Afteranhourorsoofsurveyingsideleads,wecalleditadayandplannedonreturningwithwetsuitsthefollowingday.

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THROUGHTHELAKEThenextday,Tomdecidedtoremainonthesurfacetowatchthebirds.LouiseandIpackedourwetsuitbottomsandmadeourwaytowardthecalciteencrustedlakewehadnamedtheLairoftheIceWorms. Asitturnedout,wetsuitbottomswereabouttherightattirefortraversingthe30metersofwaist-deepwater.Onceoutofthewater,weencounteredanotherdome.Thisonewasmuchhigher,perhaps25meters,butdidnotleaddirectlytothesurface,atleastasfaraswecouldtell.WecalledthisdomethePlungeDome.ContinuingfromthePlungeDome,wefollowedupstreaminamud-linedpassagewithasmalltrickleofwater.Thisledtoanareacontainingsomeparticularlyfinedisplaysofredissolvedflowstoneandotherspeleothems.As wewentaroundthenextcorner,thesilenceofthecavewasbrokenbythesoundofflowingwater.Controllingourselves,wepatientlycontinuedsurveying.Threestationslater,webrokeintoalargestreamgallery.Lookingupstream,wesawthatthepassagewasfifteenormoremeterswide,andrightatourfeetthewaterwascascadingdown aseriesofwhitewaterrapids.Withouthesitation,weletoutahootandimmediatelybegansurveyingupstream.Butourexcitementwasshortlived,foronthenextmudbanktherewassomewriting.Thelettersweremadeoutofrolledmud.Betweentwomudsculpturesofheads,itsaid"Bi610gos82A."Wedidnotknow whohadputthismessageinthecave,butfiguredthatitmighthavebeenleftbyauniversitycavingclubfromMonterrey.Somewhatdejected,weoptedforcontinuingthesurveyupstream.As64ExploringtheR10Bi610gos.(JimPisarowicz)

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thepasfromtoathewatergotdeeperanddeeper,IbegantowishthatIhadbroughtmywetsuittop.Finally,walkingwouldnolongersuffice.Itookinadeepbreathandstrokedacrossthepassagewithoneendofthesurveytape.Severallongswimswereencountered,butthestreameventuallysumpedastheceilingplungeddowntothewaterlevel.Webothwerethankful,asweweregettingabitcold.Itwastimetoseewhathappeneddownstream.Unfortunately,thedownstreampassagesoonsumpedtoo,justbeyondwherewebegantheupstreamsurvey.Still,itwasprettyimpressivestreamgalleryfor250meters.WecalledtheriverRiodelosBiologos.Althoughwewerebothprettycold,anotherleadhadtobepushed.JustacrossfromthepassagewherewehadenteredRiodelosBiologoswasanothersage.Thismuddyleadwentupthegalleryandeventuallyledpit20metersdeep.SinceLouisehadtoldTomthatweweregoingtobeoutbymidnight,I made aquickreconthroughasmallleadatthetopofthepit.Thisleadgraduallymadeitswaydownandaroundthepit.Fromthislead,onecouldmakeitallthewaytothebottomofthepit,butitwastimetoleave.Over700metersweresurveyedwithbothsumpspresentingthemselvesasdivableleads(especiallytheupstreamsump).Astotherevolutionarieswholivedinthecave?Noevidenceofthestaywasfound,butthisisnotsurprisingasthecavedoesflood.Soastheysay.Quiensabe?CUEVADELATIAROSALacuevadelaTiaRosaselocalizaenlavilladePotreroRedondo,enelestadodeNuevoLeon.Laprimeraporclondelacuevaesamplia,conlagunasyunriachuelo.Rioarribaencontraronunsifon,aligualquerioabajo,sinembargoambosnopresentangrandificultadtecnica.Otropasajesecundariofueparcialmenteexplorado,peronomapeado.Lalongitudtotaltopografiadafuede700metros.65

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ChristO\asInHuautlaMarkMinton66

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WestruggledthroughthetightspotsinNitaZantryingtoimaginehowitwouldbewithcamppacks.Onlyninemonthsbefore,wehadconnectedthisnewestentrancetoNitaNanta,wheremajordiscoverieshadbeenmade(AHCSActivitiesNewsletterNo.13).TocontinueourpushtowardaconnectionwiththemainSistemaHuautla,anundergroundcampwasonceagaininorder.ThequestionwashowtobestgettotheFootballStadiumat-635meters:theoriginalrouteviatheNaranjaPassage,throughthemuchfasterbutunworkablytightNitaSa,orthroughZan?Onetripandwewereconvinced.Zanwaslargeenough,andevenfasterthanSa.Wealsonotedhigherwaterflowthroughoutthecave,whichnecessitatedreriggingofthe6S-meterMaelstromShaftandwhichwouldplagueusoftenintheweeksahead.CAMPIIWithonlyarelativelybrieffourweeksinthefield,thepressurewasontocavehardfromthestart.Themorningofourfourthday,alleightcaversheadedforCampIIwithduffles:HansBodenheimer,FrankBogle,ScottDavis,GeraldMoni,RichRohwer,JimSmith,LisaWilk,andI--althoughHansandIwereonlyporters.ThefirstobjectivefromcampwasatraversearoundthetopofthefirstdropintheRatTailFileSeries,whichJimledeasily.ThisistheclosestpointtoLiNitawherewestillhopedaquick,relativelyhighlevel(-600-meter)connectioncouldbemade.Thenewpassagecontinuedmuchasitdidinthepitseriesbelow,upcrusty,long-deadgalleries.Theairflowwasgood,andwhentherumbleofastreamcameintoearshot,connectionfeverranhigh.Ourpassageteedintoastreampassage.Unfortunatelymostoftheairseemedtocomefromupstream,whichsoonpinched.Downstream,afterdroppingover100metersinapolishedblackpotholepassage,thewaterdisappeareddown a20centimeterwidecrackatthebottomofabody-sized22-meterdrop.Thefinalblowwasdealtbythesurvey,whichshowedthenewpassageheadingnorth,awayfromLiNita.Whiletheotherswereincamp,HansandIcheckedablowingwatercrawlfoundina newcave,NitaLajao,thepreviousspring.Afterrearrangingafewcobblesandremovingacoupleofchertledges,Uansreportedwalkingpassagewithniceformations.Thenhesawfootprints!Indeed,wehademergedfromunderapreviouslyunnoticedledgeintotheWhiteRoomofLiNita.TheLajaoentranceislowerthanLiNita,however,sothedepthofSistemaHuautlaremainsunchanged.TwodayslaterAndyGrubbsarrived.de,Frank,UansandIenteredNitaSatosurveyamajorinfeederat-190meters.Thirty-fivestationsweresetinanextremelydraftypassagedubbedEIRefrigerador,untilwelosttheairupaAs weleftwederiggedthedozenorsodropsinupperSa,andthankedOztotlweweren'tusingthatrouteforcamp.OverthecourseofthenextthreedaysBrianBurton,AlanWarild,JuliaJames,MikeDoe,andDougPowellarrived,fillingouttheexpeditionatfourteenpeople.Withthecampcrewalsobackonthesurface,ourtwohouseswerepackedtothegills.PlansweremadeforeightpeopletoreturntoCampIIforamajorbottompush,whiletheothershadthechoreofdetacklingthemorethanfortydropsintheNaranjaPassage.SECONDCAMPOnDecember23,Alan,Doug,Frank,Hans,Jim,Mike,Scott,andIheadedintothe-IOOO-meterbreakdownpileofNitaNanta.Asinglechargesetattheendofthefirstcamphadprovidedafewmetersofaccessintotheboulders.ThenextobstaclewasremovedOpposite:WateratitshighestintheGorge.(JimSmith)67

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TightspotbetweenDrops9and10inNitaZan.(JimSmith)by aboutoffranticbashingbyJimandScott.Forthenextcoupleofalleightofusprobedeverynookandcrannysearchingforthewayon.Severalpromisingstartsfinallyendedhopelessly,andmoralebegantofade.Theimmensityofthebreakdownandlargepassagedimensionswithubiquitousairflowprovidedfewcluesastothemostlikelyrouteevenforblasting.FinallyHansandMikesqueezedanddugthroughshaleledgeshalfunderwaterandworkedtheirwayintoalargeroom.Withrenewedvigortherestofusfollowed,onlytobegintheprocessoveragain.Theroomwasmerelyatemporaryopeningabovetheboulders.Allrouteswereagainblocked.Ourdiligencecontinuedtoberewardedasthewayonwasslowlyuncovered.When wefinallybegantothinkaboutsurveying,werealized68thatwehadtwocompletesetsofeverything,butnopencils.Perhapsitwasjustassincethetripendedupbeing18hourslong(fromcamp),evenwithoutmapping.HIGHWATERAsthecampcrewrestedonChristmasanambitiousderigwasinfullswing.EarlythatmorningGerald,Julia,andLisawentinto"old"NantaandfollowedtheNaranjaPassagedowntothe60-metershaftat-400meters.Afterthewomenhadrappelleddownthepit,Geralduntiedtheropeanddroppedittothem.Theythendidpulldownsastheyderiggedeightdropsineverenlargingpassage.At11p.m.theyarrivedatCampIIladenwithcoilsofPMI.MeanwhileGeraldsoloderiggedthesevenpitchesbackuptotheGrimPitonhiswayout.Thewomenconfirmedoursuspicionsabout.thewater--itwascomingupfastafteralmost24hoursofrain.TheMaelstromShaftwasanearlysolidcolumnofwater65metershigh.TheNaranjaPassagestream,whichusuallycascadeddownthewall,nowarcedoverameteroutintotheStadium.Theydecidedtobivouacwithusincampandhopefortheworstofthefloodpulsetopassinthenight.ThefollowingmorningJuliaandLisacontinuedtheirderigthroughtripoutNitaZan.FortunatelytheMaelstromShafthadbeenreriggedoutofthewater.Thenext,86-meterFlakeyShaft,wasflowingfulltilt,attimesmakingithardtobreath.Manyoftheclimbsabovewererenderedasthenormalroutehaddisappearedbeneaththewater.OnoneclimbaholdbrokeoffandJuliatookashortfall,butsoonrecovered.Later,asLisacontemplatedtheroute,shesawatailofPMIemergingfromafrothingcascade--theropewascompletelyhiddenbehindthefalls.Onanotherdroptheendoftheropehadbeenwhippedupontoaledge,butwasfortunatelystillwithinreach.Finally,after

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eighthours,theyemergedsafelybackoutside.Thecampcrewreturnedtolowerlevelstomapandcontinueworkingthroughthebreakdown.Wewereallveryanxioustoknow howfarwehadprogressedtowardourgoalofLoggerheadHallinSotanodeSanAgustin.SincetheroutedownfromcampthroughtheRatTailFileSeriesisdry,welargelyforgotthehighwatersituationuntilwehittheGorge.Theretheroarwasominous.Itwasalmosttoosporting,asHans,forinstance,rappelledintoapotholeanddisappearedoverhishead!Thewallswereslick,andonehadtoexercisegreatcaretoavoidbeingsweptoverthenextdrop.Alanreriggedthelastpitchoutofthemainflow,andeveryonemadeitsafely.Thesurveywasthwartedagain,however,asourroutethroughthebreakdownwasnowunderwater!ThedifferencebetweenDecemberandMarchisremarkableintermsofwaterlevels.Evenatnormalflowtherewasthreetofivetimesmorewaterthanwehadseenthepreviousspring.Nowtherewastentotwentytimesasmuch.Werealizedhowluckyweweretohavegottenoutofthebreakdownwhenwedid.Ahalfadaylaterandwemighthavebeentrapped.NEWTRUNKAlan,Frank,Mike,andIdecidedtocontinuethesurveyupstreamfromtheconfluencenearthebreakdownwhichhadleftoffinlargepassagethepreviousspring.Theboreholecontinuedseveralhundredmeters,andwewisheditcouldhavebeenasnicedownstream."l1akesyouthinkthere'ssomecaveoutthisway,doesn'tit?"Alanremarked.Abruptly,theboreholenarrowedtoacanyon,whichforkedandendedattwinwaterfalldomes.MeanwhileDoug,Hans,Jim,andScotttookplentyofphotosofthehighwater,thenascendedanddidatraversearoundthetopoftheCorkscrewShaft,thelastdropintheRatTailFileLeadclimbacrosstopofRatTailFileSeries.(FrankBogle)Series.Thevoidvisibleacrosstheshaftturnedouttobelargepassage.Afterabriefclimbupthroughabreakdownmaze,theypoppedoutintoafossiltrunkwithairflow!Aquickreconnaissancerevealedsubstantialpassagewithseveralleads,onlyalittleofwhichwassurveyed.TheremainingsurfacecrewofAndy,Brian,andRichwasalsobusywiththederiggingoperation.Onanl8-hourtriptheyreturnedtotheGrimPitandpickedupthesevenropesGeraldhadleft,thenderigged14morebackasfarasstationNJl,whereanundescendedpitleadneededtobechecked.ItwasanactiveChristmasdayasallfourteenpeopleontheexpeditionwereundergroundinvariouspartsofNitaNanta."Ropesareevendumberthanduffles!"SodeclaredHansafterhaulinghiscamppackoutthroughNitaZan,andthenwrestlingcoilsoutofthe69

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NITAZAN/LINITAo500I 1I ,,METERSLAGRIETASISTEMAHUAUTLAOAXACA,MEXICO-1984SOTANOSANAGUSTINGLA

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+127o50010001245METERSNITANANTALINITA(DATUM)SISTEMAHUAUTLAOAXACA,MEXICO-1984SOTANOSANAGUSTINGLA

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NaranjaPassageonthefinalderigtripwithAndy,Brian,Gerald,andJulia.AndycheckedtheleadatNJl,onlytoenduploopingbackintoknownpassage.Theupperpartsofthe"main"NitaNantawerefinallyderiggedafterfouryearsofgrueling,butultimatelyveryrewarding,exploration.FINALCAMPWithlessthanaweekleftontheexpedition,wedecidedononelastcamptrip.Doug,Jim,Mike,Scott,andIreturnedtotheFootballStadiumonDecember30.Wedecidedtheriskoffloodingwastoogreattoprobethebreakdownagain,soweconcentratedonthenewpassageacrosstheCorkscrewShaft.Atyrolean,doublylinedwithPMI, madecrossingthe55-meterdropsafeandeasy.Wesurveyedseveralhundredmetersonanunusualsoutheasttrend,thendugthroughacollapseandintersecteda newshaftseries.Lackofropeandtimepreventedanyfurtherprogress.Theremainderofthecamptimewasspenttyinguplooseendsandstagederigging.Havingspentagooddealoftimeattheunglamoroustaskofderigging,thesurfacecrewwasanxiousforsomenewexploration.TheybegansurveyingNitaMazateca,animpressivelylargeentrancelocatedbyChrisKerrthepreviousspring.Anumberofbones,coupledwithastiffbreeze,earnedtheentranceareathenameMeatLocker.Onthesecondtrip,Lisarappelleddown adropandsawstationEQ30,whichFrankrecognizedastheRefrigeratorPassageinNitaSa.Theyhadcomeinthroughthedomewheretheairflowdisappearedonourprevioussurvey.AdaylateranothersmallcavewassurveyedtoanotherconnectionwithNitaSa.ThusNitaNantagainedtwonewentrancesinasmanydays!SOLO1000On1January1984AlanWarildenteredLiNitaforadaringonethousand-meter-deepsolotrip.Thecavehadbeentotallyderigged,soAlanusedaspecialtechniqueofriggingeachdropcompletelyfree,usingchocks,wireslings,etc.,andpullinghisropedownbehindhim,leavingonlyadoubledlengthofnyloncordtopulltheropebackup.Inthiswayhecouldnegotiateallofthethirtyorsodropsusingasinglerope.Thetripwentsmoothly,requiring47hours,includingafewhoursofsleep.(Note:AlaniswellexperiencedbothwiththistechniqueandwithLiNita.Thisisnotagenerallyrecommendedpractice!)--NitaNantahasnowseenfiveexpeditionsandhasover10.7kilometersofsurveyedpassage,accessibleviaeightentrances.Thedepthisinexcessof1031meters,althoughtheexactfigureisnotknownduetolackofsurveyatthebottom.ConsiderableprogresshasbeenmadetowardourgoalofjoiningNitaNantatoSistemaHuautla.Althoughhighwatercutshortthemostrecentdeep-leveloperations,prospectsareexcellentforareturninthespringof1985.ThinkDeep!PROYECTOHUAUTLAElobjetivoprincipaldelproyectoHuautladediciembrede1983fuelaposibleconexionentreNitaNantayelSistemaHuautla.Sinembargo,elaltoniveldelaguaimpidiolaconexion.UnpasajedemayordimensionfueencontradoenNitaNanta,llamadoelRatTailFileSeries,sinembargolaexploracioncompletanofueposibledebidoalainsuficienciadeltiempo.Ademas,dosentradasmasfueronencontradas,sumandoseas!ochoaLacuevadeNitaNantayatieneunalongitudde10.7kilometrosenpasajestopografiadosyunaprofundidadde1031metros.72

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Discoveries InMEXICANCAVEBIOLOGYJamesR.ReddellThefollowingreportdiscussessomeofthemoreinterestingbiologicaldiscoveriesinMexicancavesmadesincemyearlierprogressreport(AMCSActivitiesNewsletterNo.11,1980).InthelastthreeyearstwovolumeshavebeenpublishedonthecavefaunaofMexico(Reddell,1981,!ReviewoftheCavernicoleFaunaofMexico,Guatemala,andBelize,TexasMem.Mus.Bull.,Reddell,1982,FurtherStudiesontheCavernicoleFaunaofMexicoandAdjacentRegions,AMCSBull.,8).Inaddition,severalpapershaveincludeddescriptionsofnewspeciesfromMexicancaves.As aresultofthesepublications,atotalof84newspecies,including56troglobites,hasbeenaddedtotheknownMexicancavefauna.Recentexpeditionshaveproducedstillmorenewspecies,includinganumberoftroglobitesofunusualinterest.Whilemostworkinthelastfewyearshasbeenconcentratedinthepreviouslystudiedareas,suchastheHuautla,Oaxaca;Purificacion,Tamaulipas;andXilitla,SanLuisPotosi,regions,otherareashavereceivedattention.OfparticularinteresthavebeentheextensivecollectionsmadebySteveRobertsonintheZongolica,Veracruz,region.Inaddition,tripsbyDavidMcKenzie,DalePate,WilliamElliott,PeterandTerriSprouse,JamesReddell,andotherstoseveralneworpoorlystudiedareasincludingPotreroRedondo,NuevoLeon,andvariouspartsofHidalgoandCoahuila,haveresultedinthecollectionofnewmaterialofinterest.Finally,recentcollectionsinYucatanandinGrutasdelPalmito,NuevoLeon,haveproducednewspeciesoftroglobites.Onceagainitisproventhateventhebeststudiedcavesorareascanprovidesurprises.Afewofthemoreinterestingrecentdiscoveriesarebrieflydiscussedinthetextthatfollows.Inadditiontothesemorenotablefinds,itshouldbementionedthatnumerousotherspecieshavebeencollected,somealreadyknown,butothersawaitdescription.WitheverynewcollectioninMexicoweareaddingtoourstoreofknowledgeofthedistributionandevolutionofitscavernicolefauna.Largegroupsofanimals,suchasthemillipeds,isopods,andcentipedes,arenowunderstudyandarenotdiscussedhere,butareknowntocontainmanyspeciesofinterest.SCORPIONS OneofthemoreinterestingrecentfindsisthatofanundescribedspeciesofblindscorpionofthegenusTyphlochactasfromCuevadelVandalismointhePurificacionregion.ThisisthetenthtroglobiticscorpiontobediscoveredinMexico.Thisisofparticularinterestsinceitisfromahigherelevationthananycavescorpionyetknown.Itisalsothefirsttimethattwospeciesofblindscorpionhavebeencollectedinthesamegeneralregion,theotherspecies,TroglocormuswillisFrancke,is73

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fromSistemaPurificacionandothernearbycaves.PSEUDOSCORPIONSstygia(Gertsch)fromtheregion.OPILIONIDSXilitlaSeveralnewspeciesofpseudoscorpionhavebeenfoundinMexicancavesinrecentyears.Threetroglobiticspeciesareofparticularinterestinthattheycomefromareasalreadyintensivelystudied.A newspeciesofthegenusAphrastochthoniushasbeencollectedinGrutasdelPalmito;thisisthesecondtroglobiticpseudoscorpionfromthatcave.Typhloroncusn.sp.hasbeenfoundinSotanodeHuitzmolotitla,SanLuisPotosi;thisisonlythesecondtroglobiticpseudoscorpionfromtheXilitlaregion.AnundescribedspeciesofthefamilyChthoniidaeofuncertaingenuswasrecentlyfoundinCuevadelCenoteXtolok,Yucatan;thisisthefirsttroglobiticspeciesofthisfamilyintheYucatanPeninsula.AMBLYPYGIDSMostoftheamblypygidsremaintobestudied,butofspecialinterestisablindspeciesofthefamilyCharontidaefromtheZongolica,Veracruz,region.ThisisthefirsttroglobitebelongingtothisfamilyinMexico.TheonlyotherblindspeciesofthisfamilyinNorthAmericaisanundescribedspeciesfromBelize.SPIDERSNumerousnewspeciesofspiderhavebeencollectedfromcavesinallregions.OfparticularinterestaretwonewspeciesofthegenusLeptoneta,oneeachfromcavesatHuautlaandfromthePurificacionregion.Themostnotablefind,however,isofablindspeciesofHahniafromGrutasdelPalmito;thisisthefirstblindspeciesinthefamilyHahniidae.AlsoofinteresthasbeenthediscoveryofadditionalspecimensoftheblindtarantulasSpelopelmagrietaGertschfromcavesatHuautlaandSpelopelma74CollectionsbothofsurfaceharvestmenfromentranceareasandofblindharvestmenfromdeepincavesinthePurificacionareahaveincludednumerousnewspecies.Ofparticularinterestisa newgenusofthefamilyPhalangiidae(theharvestmenordaddylong-legs)fromseveralcaves,newspeciesofthegeneraHoplobunusandKaros,andasecondcavernicolespeciesoftheraregenusOrtholasma.RICINULEIDS A newspeciesofricinuleidofthegenusPseudocellusfromacaveinGuerreroisoneofthemorehighlycave-adaptedspeciesintheorder.AdditionallocalitiesforricinuleidswererecentlyfoundincavesinYucatanandQuintanaRoo(anewstaterecordfortheorder).COLLEMHOLANewcollectionsofspringtailshaveincludeda newtroglobiticspeciesofthewidespreadgenusPseudosinellafromPotreroRedondo;thisspeciesisthesolememberofaspeciesgroupverydifferentfromtheotherspeciesofthegenus.AlsoofnotearenewspeciesofthegeneraOncopoduraandNeanurafromSistemaPurificacion.Thelattergenushasnotpreviouslyincludedtroglobiticspecies.DIPLURA AcollectionfromCuevadeLaRosalintheXilitlaregionincludeswhatispossiblyamemberofthefamilyProcampodeidae.Thisfamilyisotherwiseknownonlybytwospecies,oneinItalyandtheotherinCalifornia.

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COCKROACHESA newspeciesofcockroachofthegenusAglaopteryxhasbeencollectedinCuevadelJilguerointheXilitlaregion.ThisgenusincludesseveraltroglophilesinChiapasbutthisisthefirstcave-inhabitingspeciesoutsideChiapas.AlsoofinterestarespecimensoftherarespeciesNesomylacrisreddelliFiskandGurneyfromCuevadelCarrizal,NuevoLeon,andCuevadelosCuarteles,Tamaulipas.ThisspecieswaspreviouslyknownonlyfromtheSierradeElAbra.FISHSteveRobertsonhascollectedcatfishofthegenusRhamdiabelongingtoanundescribedspeciesfromseveralcavesintheZongolica,Veracruz,region.Thisspeciesisofinterestinthattheeyesrangeinsizefromnearnormaltoessentiallyabsent.TheonlyothertroglobiticRhamdiaistherecentlydescribedRhamdiareddelIiMillerfromcavesatAcatlan,Oaxaca.(Seearticleinthisissueoncave-dwellingcatfishbyDoyleMosier.)ThisbriefsummaryofrecentcollectionsshouldindicatethatwearestillonlybeginningtounderstandthefaunaofMexico.Withfewexceptions,allofthismaterialhascomefromthebetter-studiedpartsofMexicoandsomeofthemoreinterestingspecimensevenfromtheverybeststudiedcavesinMexico.EverycavercanhelpincreaseourknowledgeofthefaunaofMexicancavesbycarryingasmallbottlefilledwith70%isopropylorethylalcoholinhispocketwheneverhegoescaving.SpecimensfromonecaveonlyshouldbeplacedinasinglejarwithalabelwritteninpencilorIndiaink(neverballpoint).Thelabelshouldgivethenameandlocation(includingstate)ofthecave,thedateofthecollection,andthenameofthecollectorandbeplacedinsidethevial.ThesespecimenscanthenbegiventoJamesReddell,PeterSprouse,orotherAustincavers.TheycanalsobemailedtoAMCS,P.O.Box7672,Austin,Texas78713;ortoJamesReddell,TexasMemorialMuseum,2400Trinity,Austin,Texas78705.ThespecimenswillbesortedandmailedtotheappropriatespecialistforhisidentificationsandinmostcasesreturnedtotheTexasMemorialMuseumtobeplacedintheirBiospeleologyCollection.Thecollectorwillbenotifiedoftheidentificationsandgivenanideaoftheirinterestandvalue.FAUNAESPELEOLOGICADesdeelultimoreportebioespeleologicohechoporJamesReddellen1980,sehanencontrado84nuevasespeciesencuevasenelterritoriomexicano.Delascuales56sontroglobios.Encontrandonuevasespeciesaunenareasbienestudiadas.75

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1984DosAguasExpeditionMikeFischesserInthesummerof1983PaulPinson,fromTampa,Florida,andIweresittinginmyhouseinthemountainsofwesternNorthCarolinadiscussingideasforanexpedition.Wewantedtogotoaremoteplacewherenoonehadexploredbefore.Inthisdayandagethatcriteriaisfairlydifficulttomeet.ButfromprevioustripstoMexico,I knewthattherewerestillnewcavingareastobeexplored.SoIsuggestedtoPaulthatwecallPeterSprouseinTexasandseewhatherecommended.PeterhadmentionedintheNSSNewsthattherewerenumerousregionstobecheckedoutinMexico.Petersentmeaveryinformativeletterdescribingthreeareasthathadneverbeenexploredbycaversasfarasheknew.Weobtainedthemapsofeachareaandstudiedthemtofindtheonewethoughtwouldhavethebestpotential.Wefinallysettledonaninterestingplateauthatwasquiteremoteandwasatanelevationof2300meters.TheareawasnearasmallloggingtownnamedDosAguas,inthestateofMichoacan.DuringFebruary1984,eightofusspentthreeweeksdoinginitialreconnaissanceinthearea.OurgroupconsistedofPaulPinson,RayRimmer,FrankMcNutt,MildredNeville,OpieObert,EmilyMcCulley,RobbieOates,andI.OurobjectivesweretofindalargecavesystemthatwouldrequirefuturetripstoMexico,recontheplateauingeneraltodeterminethecavingpotential,andestablishasolidfoundationoffriendshipwithallthelocalpeopletoenablefuturegroupstousethearea.Allofour76objectivesweremetbythetimeweleft.TORRECILLASWeestablishedabasecampoutinabeautifulfieldthatwasacaver'sdream.Allaroundusweresmallkarsttowersthatkeptremindinguseachdaythattheareawasrichincaves.Astreamemergedfromanearbycavesystem,passedbyourcampsiteandwentundergroundagainlessthan200metersaway.Wespentagreatdealoftimegettingtoknowpeopleinthemanyscatteredvillagesofthearea.Everyonewasverywarmandfriendly.Manygiftsandgesturesoffriendshipwereexchangedduringthethreeweeks.Wemade manyfriendsamongthelocalinhabitantsandwereeveninvitedtoalargewedding.Thewordwerepeatedlyreceivedfrompeoplewasthatveryfewforeignershadevervisitedtheirarea,anddefinitelynoonehadevercometoexploretheircaves.Thisexpeditionwasexactlywhatwewerelookingfor.Thelocalpeoplewereextremelyhelpfulintakingustocaves.Abigceremonywasalwaysmadeofourvisittotheirhomes.Theywouldbringchairsandfoodoutandwantedtohearallaboutwhatwehadfoundorwerehopingtofind.Wealwaystoldthemwewerenotlookingforgoldortreasurebutonlyforexploration,adventure,andscientificinvestigation.PaulspokethebestSpanishandwouldoftenserveastheinterpreter.Wecheckedoutover30potentialleadsduringourstayatourfirst

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camp.Manybeautifulandunusualhorizontalcaveswerefound.Severalnicepitsupto40metersdeepweredropped.ThedeepestpitwefoundwasonethatwesawontheveryfirstdayasweweredrivingupthemountaintowardDosAguas.Itwasabeautifuldrop,withlushvegetationandlargevinesaroundtherim.Itlookedlikeajunglescenefrom"RaidersoftheLostArk."Wedroveon,expectingtofindlargerpitsupontheplateau.Theremaybesome,butweneverfoundanylargeronesduringourstay.Wedecidedtosavethepitfoundonthefirstdayuntiltheendanddoitonthewayout.ItsnameisResumiderodelosManguitos,anditturnedouttobeabout60metersdeep,withatremendousbellingoutnearthebottom.Ofthemanysmallcaveswecheckedoutwhileinthefirstcamp,theonewiththeemergingstreamturnedouttobethemostinteresting.ThelocalscalleditTorrecillas,anditwasrightbyourcamp.Wediscoveredwhatappearedtobeaburialchamberinthecave.ThewholetimewewereexploringoutoftheTorrecillasarea,wekeptwonderingwhenweweregoingtofindthekeytotheundergroundhydrologyofthevastregionwehadbeenwalkingoverfortwoweeks.Severalexcitingleadssimplyhadnotrevealedthekeytothepuzzle.Wefinallymovedourcampfarthertotheeast,closertoDosAguas,butfelttherewasdefinitelyabigsystemunderneathusduetothemanyclueswehadassembledinthatarea.Wewillcontinuethesearchin1985.DOSAGUASSo wesettledintheareasouthofDosAguasandbeganalloveragaintalkingtothelocalsaboutcaves,andhikingtheareacheckingsinkholesandtakingnotes.Thedaywe movedcamp,KarstterrainintheTorrecillasarea.(DavidMcKenzie)77

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welocatedaspringthatwasinalargeconcreteboxwithasteelgateacrossthefront.Alargestreamresurgedfromthisspring.WeweretolditwasthewatersupplyforthetownofAguillas,whichwasroughly20kilometersaway.Weknewwehadbetternottryandenterthatsystematthatpoint,butdreamedaboutthecavethatmustcarryallthatwater.Withinthreedaysofourfinaldeparturewefinallysucceededindiscoveringour"BigProject."WehadbeengrowingtiredofhikingalloverthecountrysideandnotfindingagiantMexicancave,butRobbieandFrankkeptusgoing.A manhadcasuallymentionedtoRobbieacavewithalargeentrancefartheronupthevalley.Wedecidedtogocheckitoutandthenhikeseveralkilometersonbacktocamp.When wegottotheentranceweallbegantogetexcited.Itwasapproximately30metersby40metersandleddownintoanevenlargerentranceroom.Thecavedidn'thaveaname,sowenameditCuevadeDosAguas.Largepassagestookoffinthreedifferentdirectionsfromtheroom.Twoofthemendedquickly.Thethirdrequiredaropefora7-meterfreedrop.ItwasdecidedthatIwoulddothedrop,runondownthepassagefortenminutesanddetermineifittoowasgoingtoend,astheotherleadshad.Icametoa10-meterdropandlistenedhard.Veryfaintlytheroarofalargeamountofwatercouldbeheardmuchdeeperdown.Iwentbackandtoldtheothersthatwewouldneedtocomebackthenextday,aswemightwellhavefoundourcave.Thenextdaywecameback,armedwithmoreropeandwetsuits.Wedescendedthedoublestagedropandwalkeddown asandyflooredpassageandtherewasthestream!Wedidn'tcalculatetheflow,butitwasalongthelinesofagoodsizedmountainstream.Weturneddownstream,anddidn'tget10metersbeforethewaterwaschestdeep.Weputonwetsuitsandcontinued.Overthenexttwodays,inatotalofthree78tripsintothecave,wepushedupstreamanddownstream,andthecaveisstillgoingstrong.Inbothdirectionstheclimbing,scrambling,andswimmingisquitearduousandsporting.FromthePut-in,thelargestreamtrendssouthtotheFirstSumpBypass,thenbackintothestreamuntiloneencounterstheTurbine,whichisthesecondsump.TheSecondSumpBypassleadstoarimstonedamshapedlikeaquestionmark,hencethenameQuestionMarkJunction.Theleadtotheleftdiesquickly,whilerightthepassageleadstotheThirdDrop,7metersdeep.Approximately120metersofchallengingbutfunstream-and-plungepoolpassageisencounteredleadinguptotheThirdSump.Bygoinghighjustbeforeasidestreamroarsinfromtheleft,itishighlylikelythattheThirdBypasswillallowustogoaroundtheThirdSump.Thisisasfarasweexploreddownstream.Abluebleachbottlewasplacedatthesiteofthepossiblebypass.Generallythepassageshavebeenlargeinnature,probablyintherangeof5to10meterswideand25metershigh.UpstreamfromthePut-In,thestreamisquitedifferentincharacter.Thefrequencyofwaterfallsandclimbdownsisless,butthethreemajorwaterfallclimbsarelongerandtrickier.Afterswimming,wading,andwalkingthroughRazorCanyon,theKneeWrackerSeries,andthethreewaterfallclimbsthereisapproximately2kilometersofeasywalkingpassagethatisverylarge,3to7meterswideand25metershigh.Alongtheway,twomajorsidestreamsaddvolumetothemainstream.Neithersidestreamwasexplored,butinitialpokingshowsthemtobequitegoodleadsthemselves.AhighbypasswasfoundthatwouldbypasstheFirstUpstreamandthatisasfarasweexploredin1984.Weareveryexcitedaboutthecaveanditspotentialandwillbegoingbackin1985tofocusonitasourprimaryobjective.TheexpeditionmemberswouldliketothankPeterSprouseforhishelp,

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andencourageothercaverstocontacthimregardingotherunexploredareastocheckoutinMexico.TECHNIQUESAs apostscripttotheexpeditionreport,IwouldliketopassonthedetailsofanewclothingsystemthatIusedthistripandfoundfantasticforMexicancaving.Iworeasurgeon'sscrubsuitasmyoutsidelayerofcaveclothing.Itwasidealforhikingtocavesandforcheckingbrushy,traillesscountrybecauseitislightweight,cool,andquitetough.Itismadeofaverydurableblendofnylon,cotton,andstainless-steelfibersandisveryfast-drying.Incaves,Iworealongpairoflightweightpolypropyleneunderwearandalightweightpolyprotee-shirtunderthescrubpantsandshortsleeveshirt.Thiscombinationgavewarmth,evaporationofsweat,andsomepadding.Iworebasketballkneepadsontheoutsidetoprotecttheknees.Thesuitprobablyneedsalayerof8-ouncecoatedpackclothfortheseatandknees.Thecavewewereinwasnotparticularlyroughonclothing,soanothercavewithlotsofsnaggytightcrawlsandroughformationsonthewallsmightbetoohardonthescrubsuit.Whenitcametimeforthewetsuit,thescrubsuitwentonrightoveritwithnorestrictionsatall.Thepolypropylenepantsandshirtcouldbepackedawayinadrybagandputonlateriflongsectionsofdrypassagereappeared,sincetheytakeupverylittleroom.IwaswearinganO'Neillwetsuitofone-eighthinchthickness,withlonglegs,shortsleeves,andagoodneckcollar.Wheninandoutofthewaterfor5hoursatatime,Ibegantogetatinybitchilly,evenwhenwalking.So IputonalightweightpilebalaclavathatIcarryforemergencies,anditmadeanicedifference.Imanagedtoreducesomeofthesignificantheatlossfrommyheadandneck.Itdriedoutfastafterswimsandnevermademefeeltoohot.Itisagooditemtohaveforfinetuningofthebody'sheatregulatorysystem.IalsousedanAquaPakformydrybag,insidemycavepack.Thisisacommerciallysoldriverbagthathasadoublechannelziplockthatisveryeffective.Itneveronceleaked.Itisfastandeasytogetinandoutof,andwhenfilledwithair,willhelpfloatyouacrossalongswim.Inadditiontothissystem,IwasusingaRoosafour-D-cellelectricheadlampgoodfor5Uhoursoflight,aPetzlEcrinhelmet,jungleboots,andneoprenesocks.Mostoftheequipmentwasmulti-purposeandperformedperfectly.ThereasonIevenaddthistothereportisbecauseitwasabsolutelythebestset-upofequipmentandclothingIhaveeverhadunderground.Icouldcrawl,climb,andswimwithtotalfreedomofmovementandrangeofmotion.Itwasverycomfortable.Ifeltalmosttotallyunemcumberedasweexploredavarietyofdemandingundergroundpassages.DOSAGUASUnviajedereconocimientoalmacisocalcareodeDosAguas,Michoacan,fuerealizadoduranteelmesdefebrerode1984.Masdetreintacuevasysotanosfueronexplorados,yunosdeellosfuerondemasde40metrosdeprofundidad.Lomasprofundo,resumiderodelosManguitos,tuvo60metrosdeprofundidad.TresdIasantesdefinalizarlaexpedicion,unagrancavernafueencontrada,alacualIellamaronCuevadeDosAguas,yfueparcialmenteexploradapordostirosrIoabajo.Unaexpedicionsehaprogramadopara1985enlacualdichacavernaseraexploradaytopografiadamasampliamente.79

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Sumidero SanBernardo:A HistoryTheSanBernardoValleyliesinthenortheastcornerofthestateofPuebla,northeastofMexico,D.F.ThenearestlargetownisZacapoaxtla,whichisonthepavedhighwayfromPueblatoCuetzalan,butthevalleyisdominatedbythecommunityofXochitlaneBycasualobservationthevalleyappearsasanormalstreamvalley,Vshapedandofrelativelygreatrelief.ButasthemainstreambednearsitsconfluencewiththelargecanyonoftheRioAteno/Zempoala(theZempoalabeginswheretheAtenoandMapilcojoin),itsuddenlydescendsintoasink,entersatallopening,andalmostimmediatelyplungesovera10meterdrop.ThissumiderowasfirstenteredbyWilliamElliott,BobHarr,RoyJameson,DavidMcKenzie,andJamesReddellinDecember1973onabiologicalcollectingexpedition.Theydescendedthefirstdropintoatoweringcanyonpassagethatledtoasecondshortdrop,whichtheydeclinedtodo.TheycalledthecaveSumiderodeCuetzalTemanes(seeAMCSNewsletterVol.4,No.5).However,whenourgroupaskedaboutthenameofthecave,thelocalpeoplecalleditSumideroSanBernardo.InJanuary1980MaureenCavanaugh,BillLiebman,andIjourneyeduptheRioZempoalainsearchoffreshdiversionsanddecidedtocheckouttheobviousandtantalizingsumiderothatwassoclosetotheroad.Onthe18thweenteredthecaveandproceededdownseveralshortdropsforabout200meters.Wecametoadropintoabroad,silentlake,framedinabeautifulphreaticspan.Wefoundthepassagetobequitecathedral-like,withwallsvirtuallyunbrokenbybeddingplanesandrisingsmoothlyoutofsight.Allbouldersandsurfaceswere80SteveKnutsonroundedandsmooth,anditwasobviousthatheavywaterflowhadcreatedthisfinecave.Butthewaterwasabsentnow.Upstreamwediscoveredwhy.ThemainSanBernardovalley'sstreamhadbeenpiratedatthreeormorepointsbeforeenteringthecave.Nowitmostlikelyentersthesumideroonlyduringhurricanerains.LOWERENTRANCEEnthusedbythegrandmainpassageofthesumideroandtheairflowthatpromisedalowerentrance,wereenteredthecavethefollowingday.AlejandroVillagomezjoinedus,andwemappedabout200metersfromthelake,pastafewmoredropsandswimstothetopofa5-meterpitch.Naturalanchorsforriggingthedropsprovedscarce,sowewereforcedtousepitonsandbolts.Afewdayslater,on23January,AlejandrodepartedandErnieGarzajoinedus.Wegotmoreshortropestogetherandpushedonpastmorehuge,beautifullysculpturedgrindholestoalowerentrance.Thesunwasjustsetting,andtherewasjustenoughlightlefttoseethatthecavehadopenedoutontothefaceofacliffwithasheerdroptotheRioAtenofarbelow.Itwasquicklybecomingtoodarktofindourwayupthecliffsabove,sowewentbackthroughthecave,upthetendropsofnomorethan15meterseach,andthroughthesevenswims,allinonly600metersofveryspiritualpassage.LEFTHANDLEADSTherewasstillthequestionoftwoleft-handleadswithairflowbetweenthefirstandseconddrops.Inthewinterof1980-81BillLiebmanledagroup,includingFrankBinney,BarbCannon,MarkMinton,NormPace,Rick

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SUMIDEROENTRANCEMETERSEASTERN TRIBUTARY2-25-84S.KNUTSON.J.PlSAROWICZ M. STANDIFER525.6METERS0t::'===-_-====-__==:::::1'90MAIN PASSAGE1-18.19.23-80M.CAVANAUGH,S.KNUTSON.B.LIEBMAN.A. VILLAGOMEZ.644.97METERSSUMIDERO SAN BERNARDOXOCHITLAN,PUEBLA,MEXICOCOMPASS.CLINOMETER AND TAPETOTAL TRAVERSE,3930.65METERS TOTALDEPTH.214.82METERS COPYRIGHT, STEVEKNUTSON,MAY,1984CANYONpSU'i/-.G '(GYPSUMCANYON1-1-81FBINNEY,B CANNO,..,J.RODEMAKER.518.75METERSMAGNETICNT-OTOT-54.12-31-80.1-1-81B.LIEBMAN.M.MINTON.N.PACER.RIGG.L.WILK.820.82METERSATEN0FLOWSTONEFALLSPASSAGES.KNUTSON,S.LINN,J.PISAROWICZ,M.STANDIFER8-2-84328.9METERS

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Rigg,JimRodemaker,KyleWalden,andLisaWilk,topushtheseleads.Theyfoundthatbothpassagesquicklyjoinedtoformaslowlydescendingstreampassagethatobviouslyhadpiratedthestreamfromthemainpassage.Ithadsubsequentlybeenpirateditself,andnowcarriedlittlewater.Theybrokeupintoteams,andfrom29Decemberto1Januarytheymapped1700meters,pastnineshortdropstoatenthdrop.KnowingthatIwascominglatetopushthesamelead,thesekindsoulsstoppedatthatpoint.ANOTHERTHROUGHTRIPLaterthatmonth,BillBockstiegel,JonBurkig,ChrisPartridge,ToddRasmussen,andIarrived.On2FebruaryBurkigandIenteredwithenoughropetorigthealreadyexploredportionofthecave,plusalittleextra.Wefounda waytoclimbdownthetenthdrop,thenriggedfourmoredropswithalltheremainingrope.Pushingon,weencounteredonlyclimbabledropsbeforereachingalowerentranceandexiting.Wefoundarouteupthecanyonsideinthedark.ThreedayslaterBockstiegelandRasmussenjoinedusinmappingfromthelowerentrancetothetenthdrop.Thisyielded600meters,makingtheleft-handthrough-tripsome1800meterslongwiththirteenshortropedropsandafewshortswims.Onthattripwealsomappedalargeside-leadnearthelowerentrance.Itwentacoupleofhundredmeterstoaflow-stonecascade.Welaterwentbackandclimbedthisandasecondcascade,onlytoencounterathirdjustbeyond.FLOWSTONEBLOCKAGETheexplorationofnearbySumideroSantaElenadivertedattentionfromSanBernardoforatime,butitalsodemonstratedthepotentialimportanceoftheflowstone-cascadepassage,sincethatpassageprovedtobeheadedtowardandnotfarfromtheLostWorldareaofSantaElena.InFebruary1984ScottLinn,JimPisarowicz,MaryStandifer,andIenteredtoattackthethirdcascade.Threebolts,alittleaid,andsomeprotectiongotusup,onlytofindasheer10-metercascadenotfarahead.Iaidedupitwithboltsandpitonsandsawahugeroomabove.Itnarrowedatoneendtoapassagethatflowstonehadgraduallyfilleduntilitwascompletelyblocked.Attheblockagewasasmallspring,stilldepositingflowstone.Thepresenceofhuge,drygoursasmuchas3metersdeepmadethetraversethroughthepassageinteresting.The-flowstoneblockagewasshortofSantaElenabyonlyabout100meters.Thepassagemusthavejoinedthetwocavesatonetime--agreatseriesofinterrelatedpiracies.OnalaterdaywemappedatributaryofthemainSanBernardopassage,bringingthetotalforthecaveto3931meters.Thedepthofthecaveisnow215meters.Afewapparentleadsremainbutthesedonotappeartobemajor.SUMIDEROSANBERNARDOEIsumideroSanBernardoselocalizaenelnorestedelestadodePuebla,enlascercan1asdelpobladodeZacapoaxtla.Laprimeraexploraciondelacuevafueduranteunaexpedicionbiologicaen1973.Fuetopografiadoen1980-81y1984.A600metrosdelaentradaelpasajeprincipalconectoaunaentradainferiorlocalizadaenunacantilado.Unramallateralfueexploradohasta1800metros,conectandoaunaotraentradainferior.Cercadeestaentrada,otrapasajecondujoaunaseaseadasdetravertina.EIeua1terminoasolo100metrosdedistanciadelsumideroSantaElena.81

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ZOQUITLAN83PatrickBestgenThe1982BelgianexpeditiontoMexicowasaturningpointfortheworkofBelgiancaversinMexico.Anearlyvirginmountainrangewasexplored,andthepresenceoftwoimportantcavesnearby,SotanodelRioCoyomeapan(-316)andSurniderodelRioXocotlat(-300),indicatedsomeinterestingpossibilities.Withthisinmind,weleftEuropeinMarch1983,withourequipment.Asinpreviousyears,lightequipmentwasadopted.InMexico,thealpinetechniqueismostefficientandoffers8reatmobility.GuyMeauxsoonemetusinAustin,andtwodayslaterwewereheadedfortheSierraNahuatl,southeastofTehuacin.Itmayhavebeenalightexpedition,butaminimumisnecessaryallthesame.CertainlywewouldbewrongtodepriveourselvesofanyluxuryinviewofthemassivedevaluationoftheMexicanpesowhichmadelifesuchaterriblygoodbuy.Thus,PhillipeandIwerewedgedbetweencasesofprovisionsontheroaduptoZoquitlin,Puebla.SOTANODELRIOOurfirstcampwaslocatedbetweenCerroZoquitlinandCerroTzinzintepec,oneday'swalkfromTierraCaliente,thepresumedareaofresurgence.Weimmediatelysetourselvesonourfirstobjective:continuingtheexplorationofSotanodelRioCoyomeapan.Lianashungintothe82-meterentrancepitweweredescending.Luckilyitwasdry,butthatonlymadethewetsuitswewerewearingveryhot,likesaunasthathU8gedourbemuscledandbronzedbodies.AswimbroughtusViewoftheentrancetoLaBorrachon.82

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SOlANODELRIOCOYOMEAPANreseeudeIepseudo_riviereSANPABLOZOOUITlANPUEBlAMEXICOAdditiontomapinActivitiesNewsletterNo. 13sallekikeulNtoa newgalleryofbluemarblepolishedbyfloodwaters,fairy-likeandoverwhelming.Althoughthisgallerywasdesertedbythewater,itsevidencewasallaround.Iscarcelydaredtoimaginethemiserabledebriswe'dbeifafloodovertookus.Weretreated,havingagreedtowaitfortheothermembersoftheexpeditiontoarrivebeforelaunchingadecisiveassaultintothekingdomofOztotl.Theascentoftheentrancepitwillstayengravedinmymemoryforalongtime.Thefadinglightofdayandthecriesoftheparrotsnestinginthewallsgavetheplaceamagicallook,accentuatedbytheverdantdomeofvegetationarchingovertheentrance.Weemergedasifontothesurfaceofanotherplanet.LALOCHATOUIESANPABLOZOOUtTlANPUEBlAMEXICOI\jNI.--.--83

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IIiiIJa.!!Ie-EU:a:J.!0Q.Ct"-L:J"3IFCJaNcd:a:aQ.t

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AQUIDOUCISANPABLO-ZOaUITlANPUEBlAMEXICO-N<{-ELCONSOLADORESSANPABLOZOQUITlANPUEBI.AMEXICO$... .........

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Xocotlat.WeLochatouxe,AQUIDOUCIAmoonmilk-coveredslopegivesaccesstoa40-meterpit,followedimmediatelybya50-meterpit.Thisendsinalargeroom,followedbyoneofequalsize.A newseriesoflowerpassagesledtoaprettyroom,filledwithconcretionslikeacandybox.Wethenhittheactivepartofthesystem,agalleryofmoderatesizecarryingmorewater.Thisfriendlygalleryendedina25-meterpit,andthewaterwewerefollowingdisappearedbetweenbreakdownblocks,reemergingafewdozenmeterslater.Afinal13-meterdropleadstoa sumpat-235meters,whichisfedbyawaterinlet,possiblyfromthebigroomabove.TABOOSWhileAquidouciwasbeingexplored,Etienne,DaveandIbegantheexplorationofEIConsolador,locatedCUEVADEALCOMONGA ACHALPAnearSumiderodelRioexploredanothercave,purelyoutofcuriosity.WereturnedthentotheexplorationofSotanodelRIoCoyomeapan.WestruggledwithOztotlforthreedays,andgainedonekilometerofnewpassages.Furthersearchesonthesurfaceproducedlittlesuccess,althoughthelocalIndiansmentionedtheexistanceofbigcavesnearTierraCaliente.GettingdirectionsinthevillageofOcopepila,welocatedQuipiaXitlama(CuevadeXocotlat),bytheRioSanFranciscoXitlama.In1978itwasvisitedbyAmericancaverswhowereejectedfromtheareabythelocalinhabitantsforreasonsthatremainobscuretoday.Maybetheyhadviolatedtaboosortreasures,oroffendedtheproudpeopleofthesierras.WespenttwodaysinQuipiaXitlama,splashingfromonewelltoanother.GuyandImadeareconnaissancetothevillageOztopulco,wherewefoundarivercanyon200metersdeep.ALCOMONGAPUEBLAMEXICONt86

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Webefriendedthelocalsoverbeer,andtheytookustoacavecalledXantilco.Ithada40-meter-highentranceintowhichdaylightpenetratedfor500meters.Wedidn'tgofarinit,sincetheday'shikehadbeensolong.BeforeleavingOztopulco,welocatedseveralothercavesafewhourswalkaway.ALCOMONGAThepreviousyearthelocalshadtoldusthatwatergoingundergroundatAlcomongacarneoutatTierraCaliente.WemadeittoTierraCalientedespitebadweatherandcartrouble,andsetupcampattheLornaBonitaschoolyard.Localofficialsconfrontedusanddemandedafeeof54,000pesos.Borrachosandpistoleroswereaproblem.AtAlcomonga,weexploredthelargecavebelowthevillage,CuevadeAlcomonga.Itgoesfor100meterstoa sumpfilledwithhugelogs.(ThismayLAIOIIlACHON-...f'Ut.l&WfUCObethesameasacaveofthesamedescriptionthatwasexploredbyDonBroussardandJohnFishin1969-ed.)InanotherdolinaintheareawediscoveredLaBorrachon.The8-meterentrancedropleadstoasmallroomandtheMuddy Sump. AclimbintoafossilgalleryledtothePuitsduLancePetard.Thecavethenchangedcharacter,formingagalleryofrespectableproportions.Wefollowedanascendinggallerytoanunclimbabledome,andotherpassageswereexploredandchimneysscaled,withnomoreleadsfound.Backatthefossilgallery,welookedforacontinuationbeyondthePuitsduLancePetard.Afterafewhundredmetersthepassagebegantogetsteeper,anditendedinthemostdecoratedsection,theSalledesCheinsBalises.Asmallamountofwaterledusintonewmuddypassage,thelastoneexplored.Lackoftimepreventedathoroughexploration.CondensedfromSpeleoFlashNo.140ZOQUITLAN83EspeleologosBelgasdelGSABhanexploradociertonumerodecavernasnuevasenelareadeZoquitlan,Puebla.Aquidouciconsistedeunaseriedetirosygalerfasterminandoenunsifona235metros.CuevadeAlcomongatieneunsifonllenodetroncos.OtrascuevastambienfueronexploradasincluyendoXantilco,endondelaluzdelaentradabrillahastalos500metrosdentrodelagalerfa.87

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Caving NearPlazadeGallos,GuerreroRamonEspinasaPerenaThePlazadeGallosareainthestateofGuererrofirstcametoourattentionwhenwereadthearticle"UnstudiedKarstAreasofMexico"inAMCSActivitiesNewsletterNo.11.Atthattime,myfather,mybrotherandIwerejustbeginningourinterestincaves.ThisareawasaccessiblebycarandcouldbevisitedinadayfromMexicoCity.ItwasalsonearCacahuamilpa,wherewehadmadeourfirstventuresintocaves.GeologicallyitdidnotlookaspromisingasthenearbyTlamacazapaarea,butitalsowasnotasremote.On26December1981,thethreeofusmadeourfirstvisittothearea.UponarrivingatthevillageofPlazadeGallos,wemetFelixOrtiz,ayoungman whoansweredourquestionsaboutcavesbysayingtherewereonlytwo,thebiggestofthembeingabouttwohourswalkaway.Weimmediatelysetoutforthenearestone,CuevadelaJoya.Anarroyoenteredthecaveanditlookedverypromising.Weexploreditdown200metersofwalkingpassageanda20-meterlongcrawl,whereitended.Ithadendedsofast!Wehadhopedforarecord-breakingcave.WethensetoutonfootforthevillageofSanMiguel.Thetrailwoundamongoaksfulloffloweringbromeliads.Itwasexactlytwohourstoourobjective,andwepassedseveraldolinasalongtheway.TheGrutadeSanMiguel,asitiscalled,turnedouttobegreat.ItsimmenseentrancechamberwasbiggerthananythingIhadeverseen.Theafternoonsunlitupthefarthestreachesofit.Ithadhugestalagmitescoveredwithferns,andaflatareaatthebottomwasbigenoughforthevillagepeopletohavedanceson.Asmallarroyocrosseditanddumpedintoapitonthefarside.I88mumbled"We'vedoneit"andstartedthinkingofbigpits,galleries,andchambers,andofacavelongeranddeeperthananythingintheworld.Wenearlyrantothepit,whichwasclimbable,andfoundthatitnarroweddowntoacrawl.Ienteredandfoundthatitendedinmud--nogo.SOTANOSNearlyayearlater,on25December1982,wereturned.When wearrivedatPlazadeGallos,wemetDonBraulio,whom weaskedaboutcaves.OnlyLaJoyaandSanMiguel,hesaid.Thenweaskedhimforpits,sotanos,oranytypeofholesinthearea.Heproceededtoshowuseightpitsandtwosumideros,oneofwhichwasexplored30meterstoitsend,andhetoldusofmanyothers.AmongthoseheshoweduswasHoyodelVenado,situatedinasmalldolina2metersoffthetrailtoCuevadelaJoyaandElHoyito,nearZopantle.WehadplannedatriptoZongolicaon12February1983,butsnowhadclosedtheroadtoPuebla.SowechangedplansandwenttoPlazadeGallos.InZopantlewemetBernardinoVelazquez,whoshowedusthethreeSotanosdelaLorna,oneofwhichblewair.WealsocheckedeverydolinabetweenthereandHoyodelVenado,andfoundtwoshortresumideros,lessthan20meterslong.IdescendedHoyodelVenadoona30meterrope.Iquicklyfoundmyselfattheendoftherope,withmaybeanother30metersofpitbelowme.On7 May weconvincedaSMEScaver,VictorGranados,tocomewithus.WedescendedHoyodelVenado,whichendedataflatfloorat-64meters.WealsoexploredHoyodelCandelero,

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PLANO ELUOftot.DOCONIUUJfT08 YCIIIITAIDfOCTWlt[Dr:':sPOll C.LAZCANOYL.-...sLOCALJZADASEliIA"ST(....lit.II,IIINtEfIIO..CJ(TAXCOiN.....NT.Cff:J'...'7MOl'ODE.LUVALMOTO lIELOICMlVOInltOI..10.mooso"10METROSoTIRO......'15metersdeep,andCuevaRoja,a33meterpitwithwallsofredmud.VictorfoundaleadinCuevaRojabyclimbingupaverytightfissure,whichconnectedtoanuppergallerythatfollowedthedipofthestrataandendedsome50metersfartheroninaverytightcrawl.Afterallthislead-checkingandexploring,wedecidedtostayintheareaforafewdaysandmapsomeofthemoresignificantcaves.From29Octoberto2November1983mybrotherLuis,CarlosLazcano,ElenaRousilloPerret,andIcampedoutsideDonBraulio'shouse.OnthefirstdaywefoundaresurgencenearthevillageofAtzalaintheCanonEmbarcadero.Abeautifulblueriverflowedfromafissureandcascadeddownseveralflowstonegours.Aresurgencecavealittlehigherupwasexploredtoasump,whichissaidtobecompletelydryinPascua(Easter).WealsomappedCueva[TIlOSTtIl:O...NWI,,-IDlALlZADO'0N10_.fjj"10..>>>0,,40.j.IIOfIlt0[DOLINAPLANT"00........ot&toIT000SMESHOYODELVENADOP\..4UCI:MUDS.MUNlCU'IODr.TAxeo...;C.L.AZCANOYIt.IPtNAIAneAL.a24e10--------..e---!ettttzIiiiETR0ISMESdelaJoya,andexploredandmappedsomeofthepitsshowntouspreviouslybyDonBraulio.WealsovisitedIxcateopan,thelargestvillageinthevicinity,wheretheremainsofCuautemoearesaidtorest.Thenextdaywemappedtwosumideros,anddescendedtwopits,UvalandChivos,nearSanEsteban.NearZopantle,wemappedCuevadelosLlanitosandexploredandmappeddownfivedropsinElHoyito,averypromisingcavethatwasnotbottomed.Onourlastcavingday,wevisitedSanMiguel.Wewereshownacave,whichCarlosandElenamapped,whileLuisandIwereshownadeeppit,HoyodeSanMiguel,andtwoothersnearby.HoyodeSanMiguelswallowedanarroyointherainyseason.IntheafternoonwestartedmappinginGrutadeSanMiguel,butquitafterafewstations.89

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BRUSHWITHDEATHOnthewaybacktoMexicowestoppedatCacahuamilpasoElenacouldseethecave,sinceshehadonlyrecentlyarrivedfromFrance.On29January1984,myfather,Luis,Carlos,Elena,andafriendofmine,PacoValero,returnedtoSanMigueltoexplorethepitsshowntousthepreviousvisit.Wedividedintotwogroups;Carlos,Elena,andLuiswenttothetwopitsneartheschool,andtherestofuswenttoHoyodeSanl1iguel.WhileplacingtheropeinpositionatSanMiguel,myfatherslippedinthesteepentrancedolinaandfellintothepit.Miraculouslyhemanagedtograbtheropewithhisrighthand.Ialsograbbedtherope,whichwasn'ttied.Hestoppedhisfallandheldontoawedgedrock,answeringmycries.Hetiedintotheropeandwasabletoclimbout,andIhuggedhim,crying.Amiraclehadsavedhim.Welearnednevertoworknearadropwhileuntied,andnottotrustone'sownexperienceasaguaranteeofsafety(myfatherhadmorethan30yearsofmountaineering).Verycarefullywewentonwiththeexploration.Wewentdownthreedrops,theentrancepitchof80metersandthenones25and15metersdeep.Thesetookustoashortgalleryandafourthverydeepdrop.Rocksdroppedfreeforfourseconds,thenbouncedforfourorfivemore.Wehadrunoutofrope,soweexited.Theothershadbottomedtheirpits,50and60metersdeep.OurgroupreturnedtoHoyodeSanMiguelon25February.Carlos,Elena,andIenteredtorig,andtheothersfollowedacoupleofhourslater.TheTirodeElviraprovedtobeverydeep,97meters.ThisdisappointedElenaandPaco,whowaitedontop.Theotherfourofuswentdownthreemorepitstoadepthof310meters,wherewestoppedatthelipofanotherpit.Itwas8p.m.,andwedecidedtohaveasnack,hencethenameSalondelComedor.WewereinthedeepestcaveinGuerrero,anditwasstillgoingand!'NSTITUTOC GfDGRAFIA DELAI.NAMSAfES.r,..HoroIESIWMIGUELIOmJ040.50t;;;;;;jl:;;;;;;;;j::dFJIOOSANMGl.lEl..MUNrCIPIOOTAXOO.GUERRE:Rl'.PlANOELAtIOl'UDOa)NSUlHrosyc.w"".ENFE8REIfO Y ",ARZOD....FOR :C.LAZCANOR.E!iiPINASAP.R.lSPIHASA<:L.FW1LEROC.E.ROUSSl'LLO-FfRFI(.DtTf:NOlDOI."""""........0r!/L......._.....[PMtI, ...,..,ir....CI,,;t'OTOO.zoo250'55

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HOYODESANMIGUELEJIDO DE SANM/GJEL.MaV/CIPIODETAXOO.GUERRERaRANOELABORADO CON SUUNTOSYC/NTA EN FtBREROYMARZODE/9B4PORCLAZCANO -R,ESP/NASAP -R,ESP/NASAC LESP/NASAP FVALERO -E,ROUSSILLO-PERRETT6mT26m0000'''-.- 0.;0,('\'!',-----".o0(\'.")Pam'--1).-.-1\'T76m10T4m',,-<:>,L:"--j::-,_"'-=-,!Jr7"",_1/-")",r,,">...i.'-:--! /--'\""'\/!'r-"",""...)/;./-"-<'jO:"/\',!f.;-,<,/----.:."'.;100(;./,\-,',!..,:----,-.,6'riJ:'\_I--,;---/,,"/_I,"",fT1,,\\\'/_.'i":_/26m"-'.../--/r--<-'"----.----;::::.--;.y---y:.:,-:::'/'--"--'i---:::/r-,,,----,logo'",01455, .. .Elvira97moI00;'/.,(I'J'.(;.,/ Gal,flOdel descanso./,,,;I.'Q./0i:../.."',tN.If'",ra5INSTI TUTO DE GEOGRAFIA<..toarroyoYSMESo-,.''/Cr'I,/,\"III'f246a/0

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was76metersdeepandhadwhatlookedlikeaparallelpitofftooneside.Immediately(weweregrowingaccustomedtothis!)wecametothelipofanotherpit.Rockswethrewinfellintowater,butbythattimeIdidn'tcareifIhadtoswim.Icametothebottomofthedrop26metersdown.Iwasabletogetofftheropeonalittlebeach.Ilookedaroundforacontinuation,butallofthewallsenteredthepool.Itwasasump.Disappointed,Ididn'tevenswimacrosstoseeifitcouldbedived.CarlosandIsurveyedoutwhilemybrotherandfatherderigged.WewereawakenedthenextmorningbyDonPatrocinioBautista,theownerofthepit,whohadcometobringuscoffee.Beforeleavingthearea,wemetSr.VidalBautistaandSr.SantosBautista,comissaryandsecondcomissaryoftheejido,whowantedtoknowtheintentionsofourwork.Weexplainedourprojectandgavethemadrawingofthepit,andtheyweresatisfied.Theyevenarrangedforsomeburrostocarryourequipmenttothecar.HoyodeSanMiguelis455metersdeep,thedeepestcaveinGuerrero.Itisacompletelyverticalcave,withpracticallynohorizontalextent.IamsurethereismuchmoretobeexploredinthePlazadeGallosarea,andwearealreadymakingplanstoreturn.promising.Weleftthecaverigandexitedat3a.m.OnthewaytoMexicowestoppedinHuajintoeatacanofabalonesthattookoutofhisbagtocele-TOTHESUMPAweeklater,on3Marchweenteredthecaveat11a.m.Lessthananhourlater,wewereattheendofexploration.PacoandElenastartedoutafterreachingEIComedor.Wewentdowntwomorepitstoasmallchamber,whichwasfollowedbyashortdropintoadeeppool.Itwasmyturntogodownfirst,soIgatheredmycourageandwentdown.IfoundthatIcouldclimbthewallstoavoidthewater,and,aftersometensemoments,Iwasattheothersideofthepool.Carlosdescended,andIpulledhimovertoavoidthewater.MyfatherandLuis,whocameinlater,descendeddirectlyintothewaterintrue"sinmiedodelamuerte"fashion,whichgaverisetothenamePoolofDeath.Afterafewmetersofgallery,whichcontainedthefirstflowstoneinthecave,wecametoanotherdeeppit.Carloswentfirstanddividedthedropintothreesectionsbyretyingtheropetosomerockprotrusions.Wewereusing9millimeterPMI,anditlookedverythininthisdeeppit.ThepitverygedbackCarlosbrate.PLAZADEGALLOSSedalahistoriadelasexploracionesenelareadePlazadeGallos,Guerrero.Alafechasehanexplorado20cavernas,siendolamasimportanteelHoyodeSanMiguel,con455metersdeprofundidad.92

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PeterS.SprouseNote:TheabovepublicationsareavailablefromAMeS,P.O.Box7672,Austin,Texas78713.Writeforapricelist.InthisthirdissueofDraco,asignificantportionisagaindevotedtotechniques.Firstaid,verticalrigging,andlightingareaddressed,andmoreinformationaboutcaveaccidentsispresented,includinganarticleaboutthe1980PolishaccidentinHuautla.NotesonearlyactivitiesbyMexicancaversarecontinued,andthefinalsegmentsofthemapofLaJoya,Guerrero,appearhere.Variouscavemapsareincludedinthisissue,mostofthemwithoutaccompanyingdescriptions.AlargepitcalledLaHoyanca,nearCalpulalpan,Tlaxcala,isshowntobe201metersintotaldepth.Itisnotclearhowdeepthedropis.ThispitshouldnotbeconfusedwiththesimilarElHoyancoinMorelos.YetanothermapofGrutasdeTolaltongoispresented,thisoneasketch.AsketchisincludedforMinadeToscano,nearJamay,Jalisco.Theprintingonthisissueisimproved,althoughitisstillapparentthatitisprintedona homepress.Includedisthethirdinaseriesofhand-coloredgeologymaps,thisoneshowinglimestoneareasnorthofMexico,D.F.Theblackandwhitecoverprintingisgood.TheDracoseries,whilelimitedinscope,showsgoodcontinuity,andwewilllikelybeseeingagoodmanymoreissues.Butitseemstobe(asdoestheSMESseries)largelyaonemanshow,anditslongtermsurvivalmaydependonmorediversifiedparticipation.hasthusfarkeptprettyuponpublishingitsaprofessional,easilyNovember,D.F.DracoNo. 3Jose-MontielCastro.1983,34pages.Mexico,younggroup,wellcaughtfindingsinreadform.BookReviewsTheSMEShasproducedanotherhigh-qualitycavereportwiththisedition.Whereasthefirstissuedealtwithonlyonearea,LaFlorida,thisonecoversfour.NineteencavesaredescribedfromtheTilaco,Queretaroarea,including649-meter-deepSotanodeTilaco.OtherdeepcavesdescribedareSotanodelaVirgen,-352meters,andSotanodeOtates,-276meters.Tothesouthwest,sixteennewpitsaredecribedfromnearSanJoaqufn.InMay1981,theSMESsearchedtheareanearJacala,Hidalgo,locatingtwenty-sixpits,elevenofwhichtheyexplored.Mapsofnineofthemappearinthisissue.ThelastareacoveredisthatofAtoyac,Veracruz.MapsanddescriptionsarepresentedforthefamousGrutadeAtoyacandtheshortbutimpressiveGrutadelaPila6.ReviewsofthecavefaunaoftheseregionsareprovidedbyJosePalaciosandMarfaMagdalenaGarciaRendonL.Some newspeciesareindicated.SMESNo. 2isquitesimilartothefirstissue,indicatinggoodcontinuityandpromiseforalongrangeseries.Againwearetreatedtoacolorcover,butapparentlycostconsiderationsforcedtheuseofalessergradepaperforthetext.Thethrustoftheworkisbasicallycavedescriptions;morespacedevotedtodetailsofexplorationwouldmakeitmorereadable.Anumberofminorfaultscanbefound:aratherlargenumberoftypographicalerrorsindicatealackofproofing,andthetitleismissingfromthemapofGrutadeAtoyac.TheSMESBoletfnseriesisintheforefrontofMexicanspeleologicalpublications,anditiscertainlyhopedthatitwillcontinueforagoodwhiletocome.TheSMES,beingaSociedadMexicanadeExploracionesSubterraneas,BoletfnNo.2-CarlosLazcanoSahagun,editor.July1983,45pages.Mexico,D.F.93


Description
Edited by Dale Pate, Peter Sprouse, and Terri Treacy
Sprouse, 94 pagesContents: Mexico News, compiled by
Peter Sprouse --
Long and Deep Cave Lists, compiled by Peter Sprouse --
Sea Caves of Punta Banda / Dave Bunnell and Carol Vesely
--
Stano de Vasquez / Patty Mothes and Roy Jameson --
Cave Dwelling Rhamdia / Doyle Mosier --
Pea Colorada / Bill Stone --
Gruta del Precipicio / Bill Steele --
Cueva de la Ta Rosa / Jim Pisarowicz --
Huautla Project / Mark Minton --
Mexican Cave Biology / James Reddell --
Dos Aguas Expedition / Mike Fischesser --
Sumidero San Bernardo / Steve Knutson --
Zoquitln 83 / Patrick Bestgen --
Plaza de Gallos / Ramn Espinosa --
Book Reviews.
The Association for Mexican Cave Studies is a
non-profit, volunteer organization whose goals are the
collection and dissemination of information concerning Mexican
caves. The AMCS publishes a Newsletter, Bulletin, and Cave
Report Series which are available to any sincerely interested,
conservation-minded person.


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