AMCS Activities Newsletter

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AMCS Activities Newsletter

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

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Regional Speleology ( local )
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serial ( sobekcm )
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Mexico

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Edited by Bill Mixon, 90 pagesContents: Mexico News, compiled by Bill Mixon -- Long and Deep Cave Lists, compiled by Peter Sprouse -- Excursions in Arroyo Grande, Chaipas / Miles Drake -- Cueva del Tecolote Expeditions / Peter Sprouse --Cueva Cheve and Sierra Juárez / Louise Hose -- Proyecto Montemayor / Joe Ivy --Sótano de Lutevio / Alan Cressler -- Cave Diving in Mexico / Oliver Knab --Santa Ana '90 Expedition / Alan Warild -- The British Black Holes Expedition / Paul Ibberson --Sótano de Paso Real, Jalisco / John Pint -- Obituary: Rolf Adams / Bill Stone. 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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Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
No. 19 (1992)
General Note:
See Extended description for more information.

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AMesACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNumber19August 1992TheAMeSActivities Newsletteris published by the Association for Mexican Cave Studies, with assistance from William Russell. This issue was editedbyBill Mixon, with help from Katie Arens, Jeff Horowitz, Susie Lasko, Mark Minton, Peter Sprouse,andAlex Villagomez. This issue is thinner than the last few, which reflects a determina tiontoreturnto a regular annual schedule. TheActivitiesNewsletterseeks articlesandnews items on all significant explorationandresearch activitiesinthecavesofMexico. Photographs suitable for the coversandother full-page applications are also sought. They need not relate toanarticle in the issue,butthe original slide or negativemustbeavailable on request for printing full-page photos. The AMCSwouldlike to receive copies of all published informationaboutcavesandcaving in Mexico, including reports of "tourist" trips, foranannual bibliography thatwehope to start publishing in the next issue. All material may be senttothe AMCS address. Those planninganarticle may contact the AMCS for the name of the editorandthe schedule for the next issue. Better yet, justsenditnow. The Association for Mexican Cave Studies isaninformal, non profit organization dedicated to the exploration, study,andconvervation of the caves of Mexico. All previous issues of the Activities Newsletter are available, as are various other publica tions on cavesandcave life in Mexico. Write for a list of publica tions.ASSOCIATIONFORMEXICANCAVESTUDIESBOX7672AUSTIN,TEXAS78713 AMCS Membership Committee All rights reserved Printed in the United StatesofAmelicaFront cover The spectacular entrance to Cueva Paraiso Difkil, Tamaulipas, halfwaydowna cliff twohundredmeters high.PhotobyTerryGregston.Back cover Forty-nine flashes in the Fantasia Borehole, Cueva del Tecolote, Tamaulipas.PhotobySusieLasko.Frontispiece Dave Barlow ascending the second pitchinthe Wet Route in Xongo Dwi'fii, Oaxaca,duringflood.PhotobyAlanWarild.Page 4 Stan AllisoninCuevaPalomitas, Oaxaca.PhotobyPeterBosted.Page25Above the fifthdropinPozodeMontemayor,NuevoLeon.PhotobyPeterSprouse.

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CONTENTS5 MexicoNewsMarkMinton22LongandDeep Caves ListsPeterSprouse24 Deep Pits of Mexico ListPeterSprouse27 ExcursionsinArroyo Grande, ChiapasMilesDrake33Cuevadel Tecolote ExpeditionsPeterSprouse41CuevaCheveandSierra JuarezLouiseHose47 Proyecto MontemayorJoeIvy49 S6tanodeLutevioAlanCressler51Cave DivinginMexicoOliverKnab62Santa Ana '90 ExpeditionAlanWarild74The British Black Holes ExpeditionPaulIbberson86S6tanodePaso Real, JaliscoJohnPint88Obituary: Rolf AdamsBillStone89Directory of Mexican CavingGroupsPeterSprouse90Authors'addressesSOTANODEPASO REALPLACES IN THIS ISSUEPURIFICACION

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19MEXICONEWSCompiledbyMarkMintonCHIAPAS COAHUILALAAGOtHADEJUANELPOZOSINAIREELGALAJEJCOLIMATRABAJOREALIZADOCONCINTATAPESURVEY1991XIpaR(BY)SUSYPINT,JOHNPINTJUANBLAKE,CLAUDIOCHILOHERInspring1992, Texas caversreturnedtoElNacimiento, a KickapooIndianvil-"Matilda," found near Pozo SinAire, Colima.Mexican caversofEspeleo-ITESM exploredsevencavesnearLaSiberia. Sixweresmall,butonewasafour-dropcave estimatedtobe112meters deep. Althoughtheentrancewasverysmallandthelo cals claimednoonehadbeentherebefore,theyfoundbeercansandchipbagsfromtheUnitedStates inside.Source:FranciscoHernandezMijares. Austin cavers searched forleadsintheSierraCoahuil6ninJuly 1990,butfoundonlydisappointinglysmall holes. TheymovedontoArteaga,wheretheyredis coveredEIVolcan, apitthatwasnotentered.Fartherupthehill,theysurveyedGrutasdeArteaga,whichcon tainssomelargecolumnsina sloping room.Source:PeterSprouse. West Texas cavershavebeenexplor ingCuevadeTresMariasinthenorth eastern portionofthestate. Itwaslocated in 1989byTerry BolgerandBill Greenleyandhas been visited onceortwice ayeareversince. The 18-meter handline en trancedropledtoa blowing dig, which wasopeneduptoreveal a horizontal maze.Overtwokilometershavebeensurveyed to date. The cave contains in teresting mineral deposits, includinggypsumanduranium-eontaining clays.Radiation concernshaveslowed progress recently. Also inthearea isCuevadeCarranza, averyhotmazecave, sur veyedto300 meters long, that also con tains interestinggypsumdeposits.Source:Jerry Atkinson.CHIHUAHUAAfterspendingsome time in northern Guatemala, in theCuchumantanes,a twopersonDutchteamreturnedtotheComalapa, Chiapas, areatocontinueprospecting for good leads. Thistimetheycheckedtheopposite sideofthemountainfromwheretheir previous ex peditionhadlooked.(SeeAMCS ActivitiesNewsletter16).NearElProgreso,at2500 meters elevation,twopromising caveswerefound,butcouldnotbechecked for lack of vertical gear.Oneappearedtobe60to80 meters deep.AtTres Maravillas,CuevadeAmacawasa small labyrinth75meters longwithfour entrances,oneusedasa trashdump.Higher inthemountains, a large resur gence,CuevaLarea (orCuevadeLarco),wasexplored for175metersthroughfour d uck-unders. They stopped at a fifthduckunder5 meters long. Another shortresurgence cavewaslocatedabout100 meters higher. Villagersusethese caves for their water supply. Severalotherleadswereobtained from local people,buttimeranoutbeforetheycouldbechecked.Source:SuzanneAbbenhuis,LaurensSmet,SpeleoNederlandJPierk,September 1991.CLOSETMATILDAELDORMITORIODEMATILDA?TIRO17.5M.MIIIlJI5

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19elev. 2400 mEntrance Profile: 160degreeview7GRUTASDEARTEAGAARTEAGA.COAHUILASuunlosandtapesurvey14July1990CathyChauvin,Allan Cobb, PeterSprouseDraftedbyPelerSprouseLength:150meters Depth: 70 metersUTMcoordinates:326.100 N:2,817,860ASSOCIATION FOR MEXICAN CAVE STUDIEShigh lead10 2030.0'06070lage near Mlizquiz, afteraninitial visit a few years earlierhadindicatedthearea may have potential. A local guide led themthroughserious thorn forest to a few small cavesandpits,butcouldn't find the "big one"hesaidheknewwas there. Thecavers gavehimsome flagging tapeandplanto return afterthewinter cold exposesthebig cavebyits steam plume.Source:BillSteele.COLIMAGntladeTampumachayis a com mercial cave southofColima City with out the usual tourist amenities. Onemustbring hisownlight,anda helmetdoesn'thurt. The entrance is only 0.6 meters high, and thepaththroughthecave involves duck-walkingandclimbing overhugebreakdown blocks into a large room. Batsandvinegarroonsadornthepassage ways. Duringthenightly bat flight, a boa constrictor has been spotted hanging from the ceilingofthe entrance, catching bats. A surveyisinprogressbyEspeleoclub ZOTZ.Source:John Pint.6A local SEDUE official showed ZOTZcaversanewkarstareaalongtheCoahuayana River near the Pacific coast. In PozoSinAire, they were turned backbybadair aftertwodropsto a totaldepthof30 meters. TheCO2barrier could be pinpointed using a butane lighter. Ar chaeological artifacts were found near the cave, including a small figurine they named Matilda. Nearby, a well-decorated horizontal cave called Cueva del Coliflor was found. Local reports suggest further discoveries await future explorers.Source:John Pint.DISTRITO FEDERALSociedad MexicanadeExploraciones Subtemineas cavers have explored acom plex lava cave west ofColegiode Mexico.Gntladelos Huesitos is 1347 meters long, with leads remaining.Itisthe long est cave in theD.F.andoneofthelongestandmost complicated lava caves in Mexico.Source:RamonEspinasa,Tepeyollotli,no.4,September 1989.DURANGOMexican judicial policehavebeensearching foraboutthirty victimsofa satanic cultwhoweresacrificed to pro tect marijuana-growing operationsonthe Durango-Nayarit border.Nobodieshadbeen found,butadaggerandblood stainswerefound in cavesonHorseHill, near Santa Maria. Texas caverswerein this areaontheirwaybackfrom a triptoviewthesolar eclipseinJuly 1991,butheard nothingoftheincident. However, theyweresurprisedbyandcurious about the largenumberofairstripsshownonthetopomapsofthese remote mountains.Source:Austin Ameriam-Statesnum,Thurs day, July 26,1990.GUERREROSMES cavershavecontinued their ex plorations in theChilacachapa mountain range. Seventeen caveshavebeen ex plored, includingGntladeAclala, 1744 meters long,andGruladeCuaxilotla, 1620 meters long. HoyodelaTiaCuala

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00....2:(JVl(J::!:s::!t11Vl t'"'t11::lt11?;:lZt:l:lt11?;:l'150iL'92SMESFell'oroy"'oyode1989Topoc;rofiadoconSuuntosYCintaenS.M.E.SLO"I.APE-4Hoyode10T(oCuolo1((ii)roMtT0 Nm10toso40soAJI1\T.125mr::., _..'II(j.....II,Jr50N1'0'"II01020406080100METR0SCUEVADEAGUSTINLORENZOe..."CoordenodosU.TM.:2009475N4163/5fJIIHooNt1fCAlTE,.tC,IGUAlAIIout"AfROLongitud:304mTo,ll.I...Profundidod: -192 m5uu",Clf,t.(..."u.PIt.Dill""""'"M.A,o,."A--,...T.lOt\Ii\.1\1III\',.1."148"'\,\ijTCOt)i;1:

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19containsthelongestdropin the state, 125 meters. The deepest cave, Resumidero del Platanar, is still going in boreholeat212meters.Source:Ramon Espinasa and Ruth Diamant,Tepeyollotlino.4,Septem ber 1989. CuevadeAgustinLorenzo intheIguala valley is formed inanunusual fault breccia. It begins as a narrow pas sage thatdropsdown15-and5-meter pitches tothefinaldropof 109 meters. HighCO2levelswereencountered near the bottom.Source:ManueldeJ.Aragon Arreola,Tepeyollotlino.4,September1989. SMEScavershaveexploredRe sumiderodelIzote,1649meters longand197 meters deep,andCuevadeLas Pozas Azules, 1399 meters long and+52meters "deep," tosumpsthat are less than30meters apart. A dive to connect them would yield a system 3 kilometers longand250meters deep.Source:Ramon Espinasa,Tepeyollotlino.4,September 1989.HIDALGOWhile attempting a through trip in GrutasdeTolantongo (seeAMCS ActivitiesNewsletter 17), a Mexican Boy Scout was sweptawayat the bottom of the first drop. Histeammates routed,and the bodywasnotrecovered.Source:RamonEspinasa.JALISCOEspeleoclub ZOTZ cavers visited a volcanic cave,LaCueva Cuata, near Te quila, which is used as a shrine. Rumorsofa secret "deathtrap" that ejected peopleoutthrough a cliff below the entrance proved unfounded. Two passages were surveyed, both ending in water.Source:John Pint,Subterraneono.6,May 1990. ZOTZ cavers also exploredLaCueva Chiquiliche nearChiquilistlan. The well decorated cave contained three routes, oneofwhich connected with ariother entrance.Source:Juan BlakeB.,Subterraneono.6,May1990.MICHOACANZOTZ cavers Claudio ChilomerandJohn Pint were driving along the coastontheir waytoChiapas,whenthey rounded a curve and a crazedgunmanleaped from the bushes and tookaimat their car. The cavers ducked and sped on,buta bullet pierced thedoorand struck John in the leg. They hurriedtothenearest hospi tal, where John was informedthatthebullet could be left in his leg as a souvenir. The police informedthemthat such at tacks were not all that uncommon. They never got to Chiapas,andJohn stillhashis souvenir.Source:Subterraneono.6,May 1990.MORELOSSociedad MexicanadeExploraciones SubterrcineascavershavemappedCuevadeSanJuanTepoztlannear Cuemavacatoa lengthof2056 meters. This lavatubewas previously rnappedbyJose Palacios Vargaanda biospeleology class to448meters. Severalotherlarge entrances far therupthe lava slope could connect in.Source:Ramon Espinasa.NUEVALE6NExplorationinSO
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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19in recent years.Onthe high mesa above Minas Viejas, Pozo la Gloria,SpidennanPit, Pozo No Go,andPozoSinRe lampago wereallless than 30 meters deep. West of Bustamante,anisolated gypsum karst producedAntlerCave, whichhaddeer-antlerpetroglyphs,CuevadeLas Ventanas, and CuevadeCentavita. Interesting biological collec tions weremadein several ofthese caves.Source:Peter Sprouse,TextlsCaver,Au gust1989.An extensive history of exploration and descriptionsofcavesaroundCerroElViejo near Zaragoza is given inthenew PEP publication,TheDeathCoralCaver.(SeealsoAMCSActivities Newsletter 17.)The longest cave found to date isCuevade la Forja No.I,326 meters, whilethedeepest is PozodelPrimerodeSep tiembre,-I22 meters. Shale beds seem to limit cavedevelopmentinthis area.Source:DeathCoralCaverno.I,October1991.CUEVAAG 1GRANDENACIONAL[.AX),CAMEXICOE14J19843772SlJR'/EYEDAPRIL1990GRADE5B1020mb(\CIdfSECTIONSX2R.Greensl2deP.IbbersonP.Ward10Lo10mffQr::JR.Greenslade PIbbersonp.WardPLANPROJECTEDELEVAnON....'I'rf'InQjwGS NARMADILLOGRANDEVALLENACIONALOAXACAMEXICOE 1/,01?055762SURVEYEDAPRIL1990SCRAGRADE58CUEVAAG2Michael Crawford, Susielasko,andPeter Sprouse returnedtotheZaragoza area over Memorial Day, 1992. Nine more blind pits were found, ranging indepthfrom 7 to64meters. Two small caveswerealsodiscovered.Source:PeterSprouse.OAXACASix cavers from the United StatesandMexico staged a preliminary rigging trip to CuevaCheveinDecember 1991. Then in late January 1992, a large international groupofforty-twocaversfrom the United States, Mexico,andPoland went to the cave. Their goal was to recoverthebodyof Indiana caver Chris Yeager whohadfallen to his death a year earlierandhad been buried at a site730meters deepandseveral kilometers distant into the cave.(SeearticleonSierra Juarez in this issue.) The original expedition had considered a body recovery tobetoo hazardous, but, with the expertiseofthe Polish to guide them, this team succeeded withoutanyserious problems. The entire operation was concludedintwoweeks.Source:David Anderson,Windy CitySpeleonews,April1992, Lillian Novela,Foresight,Win ter 1991,BillSteele,TexasCaver,June,1991.British cavers Richard Greenslade, Paullbberson,andPeter Ward explored several small cavesandpits in the Valle Nacional areaduringMarchandApril,1990.The largest,AGl,was219meters long and contained a large galleryand10

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19AttemptsbyCanadiancaversofMexpe4toincreasethedepthofNesfastIadeNieva(TP4-13; seeAMCSActivities Newsletter 18)werelargely unsuccessful.Althoughanaddition2.6 kilometers of passagewereexplored,toa total lengthofabout8 kilometers,thedepthincreasedtoonly 778 meters from 732 meters. LeadsPUEBLASMES cavers checkedtheareaaroundHorBatavia, eastofSistemaCheve,inApril 1992.ItisnowpossibletotakeaboatintotheremoteUsila areaonthenewreservoir.Theyfoundseveralminorcaves, apit200meterswideand100metersdeep,andtwopromisingsumideroentrances.Source:RamonEspinasa. A 1988 British expedition exploredseveralcavesnearthePresaMiguelAlemanandtheremotetownofSanFelipe U sila.SeearticleontheBlack Holes Expeditioninthisissueandtheexpedition report in its bibliography. Six SwissandoneU.S.caverreturned to Cerro Rab6n (seeAMCSActivitiesNewsletter18)inthespringof1992TheypushedKijaheXontjoatoalengthof13.5 kilo meters,withnochangeindepth(1160 meters).Thenewpassageswereall ex plored from adeepcampatthe-1000meterlevel,andmanystrongly drafting leads remain. Amajorflood from threedaysofrainkeptthemtrappedincampfortwodayswhiletheywaited forwaterlevels inthelowershaftstosubside. Anewentrance,PI7,foundlast yearbutnotdescended,turnedouttobea spec tacular 209-meterdroptoa large, blowingpassage. It is closetoXontjoa,anda connection seems likely. Severalothernewentranceswerefound,aswerenewarchaeological sites. Atthebaseofthemountain,amajorresurgencewaslo catedatthePresa Miguel Aleman. A largereturnexpedition isplannedfor March 1993.Source:Karlin Meyers.AtGrutasdeApoalainDecember 1990, local residentsspokeofMexicanandU.S.caverspushingtheterminalsump.Nootherinformation is available at this time.Source:JohnGanter.Theconnectionaddedabout2Smetersofdepthtothesystem. But it was the combined effortsofallthecavers intheprojectthatmadetheChevesystem (alsoknownasSistemaCuicateco)thedeep est cave intheWesternHemisphere.Source:BillFarrandCarol Vesely.OstodePuenteNatural,alreadypartofthedeepsystem. During the Christmas 1990 trip, BillwenttoPuenteto recheck the era wIatthe baseofMondoPit.Hewasamazedtohearathunderingwaterfall enteringthepit justbelowthelip.Byusinga few chocks, wire loops,andslings,heachieved a secureanddrydescent.Hefollowedthecrawlwayatthebottomforabout20meters to apooiwitha slot aboveitthatwasjust a little tootighttosqueezethrough. Digging in the sand floor yielded a coupleofinchesofair-spaceundersomeflowstone-coatedbreakdown,whereBill could seeupinto a larger space that looked similar to theendofthesurveyin Cuates-Escondido. Aweeklater, CarolandBillentered Cuates-EscondidoandfoundtheroutedownHerb'sMagnificent Pit was also inthemiddle of a waterfall. Again, a rela tivelydrydescent was rigged, bypassingthelowerboltspreviouslyusedasrebelays. Attheendofthefissure, Carol noticed a slightlywiderspotabouta meter abovethefloor thatwasblocked mainlybya single flowstone-encrusted rock. For fourhourstheyalternatedamongvarious methodsofpassageenlargement, including removingtherockandchippingawayat the wallswitha hammer. Eventually, aftertheslothadbeen widened 2 to 3 centimeters forabouta meter,Billslipped through.viewing direction azimuth 30 inclination -10KiiaheXontioaOaxaca,Mexicolower stream passage.NearbyAG2, 129 meters longand44meters deep, con tainedhumanremainsandartifacts.Source:Paul Ibberson.OnJanuary3, 1991,theCuevaChevesystemwasestablished asthedeepestcaveinMexico, at -1365 meters. From its discovery in 1986throughthe1990 expe dition, cavershadaddeddepthtothecave notonlybypushingthebottom,butalsobyconnecting in higher entrances. Thetwinentrances toCuateswerefoundbyAndyGrubbs,BillFarr,andTim Jonesduringthe March 1988trip.MarkMintonthendiscoveredahigherentrance,Escondido,onthebacksideoftheridge containing Cuates. WithMarkandCarol Vesely leadingmulti pIe tri ps, Escond ido was quickly connectedtoCuates, form ing a systemovera kilometer in length.Ononeofthelast tripsof1990, Mark, Carol,andHerblaegardiscoveredadeepshaft almostwthinsight of daylight. Returningwith Bill Farr the next day, thegroupsurveyeddownHerb'sMagnifi cent Pit, reachingthebottom afterlOSmeters. Thecavecontinued,witha strong draft,downa tight, popcom-coated canyonwith a small stream, untilthepas sage became too tight. A line plotofthemaprevealedthattheendofthecanyon belowthepitwasatthesamelevelandonlyabout20metersawayfroma crawlway atthebottomofMondoPit in11

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19remain, however. Via Lactea became complexly branched,and manyinfeeders in SistemadeAngelwere greatly ex tended. A significantnewcave called Las Brumas was also discovered. Consider able biospeleological finds were made, in contrast to past trips. At the resurgence level of the Sierra Negra,twocaves, each over a kilometer long, were found.Onewasdryandfull of formations, while the other carried a strong streamandendedat a constricted waterfall. Some time was also spentonthe high plateau,ateleva tionsupto2200meters.Source:SousTerre,Spring1991.A three-week Mexican expeditiontoCuetzalanin December1991surveyed 17 kilometers of passage, mostly resurvey, but including 2 to 3 kilometers innewcaves. A low-airspace lead at the bottom of GrulasdeTasalolpan (seeAMCS Ac tivities Newsletter10) led to a 20-meter wide passage headingtoward Atepo lihuitdeSanMiguel. A higher, fossil passage continued as well.Newleads were also found in ResistolandChi chicasapan.Source:Ramon Espinasa. road reduces hiking time to the pitto2.5hours.) Don Broussardmadean unsuc cessful attempt to reach the opening in December.InApril 1992, Charlie SavvasandGlen Schneider completed the six hour hike, accompaniedbya guide from Ayutla. After a 50-meter scrambleupa steepbreakdownslope covered with brush, they reached the 6O-meter-wide, 70-meter-high entrance toCuevadeArmilallo. Unfortunately, it was only a shelter extending about 90 meters back intothemountain. There were pottery fragments on the floor, and, according to their guide, the cavehadbeen occupied about150years agobyanIndian named Armitallo.Healso told them that people hidinthecave to avoid soldiersduringthe revolution in the early 1900s.Source:Glen Schneider, Don Broussard.QUINTANAROOContinued diving in Cenotes NaharonandMaya Blue, which togethermakeupSistema Naranjal (seeAMCS Activities Newsletter18),byJim CokeandtheQuintana Roo Speleological Survey has increased the surveyed length to 15,850 meters. This makes it the longest underwatercaveintheworld,surpassingFlorida's LeonSinksCave System,14,860meters.Source:UnderwaterSpe1eology,September-october1991,andJim Coke.Cenotezapote(or Toucha-Ha, mon key waterinMayan)hasbeen surveyed to a lengthof4300 meters, while CenoteCarwash(AMCS Activities Newsletter16),2590meters,hasbeen essentially finished. Bothofthese cavesareunderwaterandrequire scubageartoexplore.Source:Jim Coke.SANLUISPOTOSICaversoftheAsociacion PotosinadeMontafiismoyEspeleologiacontinue with their Proyecto Espeleologico SierradeAlvarez,thesystematic exploration oftheSan Francisco area.(See"MexicoNews"andarticleonResumideroElBorboll6n,AMCS Activities Newsletter18.)So far, they have exploredandsurveyed 164newcaves. The latest finds include SolanodelAire, with a 233-meter en trance pit followedbya 39-meter drop, for a totaldepthof287meters, SolanodeThe British Black Holes expeditionof1988explored 7800-meter-long Cueva Yohualapa near TlacotepecdeDfaz.Seethe article ontheexpeditioninthis issue. SMEScavershavehadseveral trips to SolanodeTapoztoll near TlacotepecdeDiaz. After establishing a bivouac at-250 meters,theyreached adepthof335 meters, with the cave continuing.Source:Pablo and Mauricio Tapie,Tepeyollotlino.4,September 1989.GrupoEspeleol6gico Universitario cavers fromUNAMhavealso been ac tive in the Sierra Negra, near TlacotepeedeDfaz (Iztaxochitla), as well as around Cerro Tzinzintepetl. Theyhavelocated thrity-fivecaves, includingone3OO meters deep andanotherwith a freedropof120meters. Also, a small system has been found that has eight entrances inanarea of one square kilometer. A large expedi tion was planned for spring 1992. This is probably the samegroupthat wasreported tohavefound a two-kilometer long caveon the west sideofTzinzintepetl.Source:Francisco Ruiz BenjumedaandRam6n Espinasa.QUERETAROAfter a visit toEISolano in November1991,a large entrance ontheopposite sideofthe Rio A yutla was seen from the road to Santa Mariadelos Cocos. (This12CUEVADE,ARM:TALLO,-,YVTLA..&....vv....Gl..e""DRAFTe,y,GLJ:N.00NelOel1.--------.-------

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.....\0::z.s:()VI::z.()::!VIt-'tT1tT1::tJZt:x:ltT1::tJ1"-:,"'@/continc..io_haciaCuevaLaVentanaA,P,M,E,17OCTUBRE1990PROYECTO CUEVASDELAVA CRUCERO RAYONCARDENASRAYON,S.LP.LOiNG/TUD976.0mPROFUNDIDAD-/4.0mCUEVA DE LOS CUIC/LLOSSUUNTO Y CINTAJUANCANCINO Z. JESUS ENRIQUEZ RRAULPUENTEM.\(Ia204060100I../'METR0SPLANTAPERFILcontinua..e/lm,do.......--,-",';3S,":"."'i,..,-S,>":,-III 'Dibujo,RAULPUENTE.....w

PAGE 16

....,",,,do....,......'.,........},j.........,;.....:.:,"'13mPER Ff L.....<.0s:(JCJl(J:j..:;:.....CJl t'"'"tTl::jtTl:;.;,Zo::JtTl:;.;,DibuJo.RaulPuente 5,JUAN CANCINO, VIKO JONES, JESUS ENRIQUEZ,RAU:" PUENTE, OSCARBERRONES,MIGUELA.JONES,JUANVARGAS,REYNALDOHERNANDE;!.oRPROFUNDIDAD:-4:3.0mT EMo50100200..!CUEVADECANADADE LOS PASTORESCARDENAS.S.L.P.APMELONGITUD:1882.0m'SUUNTOSY CINTAABRIL1990PROYECTO CUEVASDELAVA!.c_posoiePLANTAPasaje1nferi0r""'fa.r,?>'--'--..._._(,_..'1::'\,-.-(\'....... .4lf'r!-LLw..L_oJ

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SotanodelEncino.....<0nVln::J:s::Jt'rlVlt-'t'rl::tlZtl:lt'rl::tlA'(.\)Al0frOo5MtzBllUIPUSHt822doMIllLOIA.P.M.ELongitud:56.0mIfcilltu,Iuol\CunclllOZ.PERFILDibuJo:J.EnriquelIf!.Puente1992.Ii'..""'C.'.'.:'."'.',.,'./I;C\,\\"w\i\!C;.).....,,\!i';/",,\1:'-:I'PLANTAr/'.//"_.,./,"/Y')-\..)/-.,/r"'".,..,\.....;.;.,"{,:..'''-),,"."-: __,ft 'j(/",,?..,\,;;0'...'' J,JJ ,..\,t 'i"!)1/'&-L.",,"h.,"'l'\jpJI/l!'{1) ,'...."\)!'1"".\'"(.1'"f,I'.'".":n(""'._7't"?(I2)(J',n\0'ie,-:";:"".:,.;'\.":'flnl)(,'1.,.",..,'."vv'AL;(>'i>;li>.L_/'I...!r'l.-_.,_-;"1'\.I..J-_..yCllEVADELAMASCARA(=CLJEVADELAS ORU,J/\S).rIlill'OIICil{),I\ltlllicipi{)de!\qIJisIIJ(;n,SI.P10aNm_"1m.h't>.Profundidad,-150mAECAPMEo30TopogroflodoconSuunlosycinto5d&feb,e,ode1992.Claudio EspinosaA.,AnoolicoR..FranciscoJ.Jones.RaulPuenteM.OescubiertoyexplOfodoen1990porAguilosEspeleoClub(AEC).'."....-.)I.'..,.....:r"'hI-(.,'" !!J'.A_:'...'...-;I:t'\r....",). "y nnc.loJeT49'''/.rOO...K.J.":\j\5,;},J;;;/(AO -'<1/;:3,11 .".,..".",'."/".I,.,y.oy,oyf..:\!-".{.",/Jeronimo,MunicipiodeArmadillo de losInfante,S.L.P.Longitud:77m",?.:;,.\-"".::.(..i'iI.i'f}.';.,\":.__.:1.\.,...-",_!,\ll'h,\'",;-\\\.I,.j,...II\'fiI."",i.'..,.j,'\A'Jt:.\\'.'(.">,'flornpol\.,-.-:'doIn.'!'\./"?COlnd'l":1\;l'<'f'i.1?.'t;'i;j'--150mT'19( =_'19Om,II, ,_' r('--..J'\...'/i.f."\.\<:-t.'I ..'"".-.',.; .,#'.'-,\;'r../<.'.'\),.'l'..''.;':!,.1'.".)'';-qi-I,,':(,..__'_...........enR.PUENTF."9'2.

PAGE 18

....0'1.....<.0()(J)():j<::::-(J) t"'"tTl::jtTl:;.:,Z!:XltTl:;.:,('..'"1.::,.:.'.4...,,\,j.'.:(j;;;;)j.....di".\.\!'.."i-,'1i(:l1SS'Dib.R.PuenteAPMEN41-IBruntonycinta Junio 1990J.VargasR.Puente Profundidad: -85mLongitud:/8.0m7-.R.Puente.V.JonesR.PuenteJ.Vargo:)J.ZermenoM.JonesJ.CancillaoBH'tSOTANODELVENADO"VAL.I.EDEL.OSFANTASMAS, MP/O. ZARAGOZAIS.L..P.Longitud:24.0mProfundldod,-87.0m' .... '."_A'';S7mT4/A_APMEmo80604020

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19PERFILSotanodel AireSanCayetano,MunicipiodeArmadillode los Infante, San Luis Potosi, S.L.P.o5Y.)20610QUQSH_ESfOloctit03E,-toIOQmit03q,4,.lJ.}.lColadOe,tolMocorron6s.._ ._-r-rrAlturadelteCl"lo@iechoboloProfundidac: -287mIOPLANTAoR10Longiiud:355mSIMBOLOGIAOscar Berrones, Viko Jones, Migueip...Jones. SaulAurelio Ramirez,:, Juan \/argas SuuniosyCinta21de abril ae 1991LOC'O.%Piedras__. _._..--_...:r;:;;;Areno....._..__.....30:?endiente__..uPosoJetopco:;rofiooo.....__..Pro1undidod\1et1ro....__.T39m(IiIilTiro0?OIO..n_lDI8UJO'RAULPUENTEM.ABRIL1991-287.2ms";"RC=17

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19----------_-.-_---------------------------------------------------------SUMIDERODE TLALETLAXILITLA, SLP, MEXICOSurveyed2]November]990 byG.Atkinson,C.Cluck,M.Minton,R.RohwerLength: 200metersDepth:]73metersr,l1'2MFJrjlS---------------------------------1'$591\"uml'Nm(,:1deg. dipo2DL__L.---'-_L.--l'1'1J\NSCALEINMHFRS['12"\\10017.1Pablo Alderete,-136meters, Sotano del Encino,-150meters, SotanodelTepozan, -85 meters,SotanodelVenado, -87 meters,CuevadelaCarbonera, with thirteen pitches to a totaldepthof183meters, andSotanodelCoyote, with eight pitches to adepthof60meters. Another important cave is CuevadelTizar(formerlyCuevadeLosMurmullos),firstexploredbyAguilasEspeleo Club members,whowerejoinedbyAPME forthesurvey. The 210-meter en trancedropis followedbynine more pitchesupto45meters deep.Itendsat asumpestimated tobe500 meters belowtheentrance.Sofar,thesurveyhasreached -360 meters. At Ray6n-Cardenas, east of the capi tal, thegrouphas surveyed several lava tubes, the largest beingCuevadeCanadadelos Pastores, 1882 meters long, Cuevadelos Cuicillos,976meters, CuevadelSalvial,795meters, Cuevadela Ventana,18268meters, and CuevadelNovillo, 136 meters. At El Limoncitaatthebaseofthe mountainsinthe Golondrinas area, the APMEgrouphas surveyed CuevadeLaMascara, 56 meters long, Cuevacitadelas Coladas,20meters, and NacimientodeCan-Ja, where485metersofswim ming passage has been surveyed. Can-Ja has been exploredtoajunction estimated tobe1600 meters fromtheentrance.Onthe last visitto the cave, in March 1992,byJuan CancinoandRaUlPuente, local peoplethrewhugerocks intothecave right after the cavers entered. After sur veying a short infeeder near the entrance, where they noticed signsofwitchcraftandsmelled copal, the pairmadethefastest exit in history.Source:Raul Puente. A check-listofcavesanda discussion of the geologyofthe San Francisco area appeared in a recent newsletter oftheSociedad MexicanadeExploraciones Subterraneas. Severalmapsare included,someofthemreprintedfromothersources.Source: Tepeyollotlino.4, September1989.CathyChauvin, Jim Elliot, JoeIvy,Libby Overholt,andLinda Palit continuedsouthafter helping resurveySOtanodelVenadito (seeunderTamaulipas) inDecember1991.Theirobjective wasCuevadelaPuentenear San Francisco. JimandJoebeganalongbolt climb at the backofthecave inaneffort to reach an upper-level passage thatmaybypass the terminalsump.Timeranoutbefore the climbwascompleted,butthey plan to return soon.Source:JoeIvy.Austin cavers checkedthearea east ofHighway120 just southofXilitla during Mexpeleo '89. Digging in a strongly draft ing side passageinCuevadela Selva

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19netted a short extension thathadobvi ously been visited previously, sincemanyMexicannameswerefound scratched into the walls of the final chamber. The air disappeared into a small slot. Then locals showedthema couple of short caves nearthetownofPlandeJuarez. Continuingthroughtownonaroadnotshownonthetopomap,theyclimbed to highergroundandroundeda curve to discoveranincised arroyo disappearingdownadeeppit.SumiderodeTlaletla is a single, mostlyfreedropof130 meters into a largeroomwith a smallsumpin one comer. The entrance is a vertical slot onlytwometers wide,butover30 meters tall. A fewothersmall caves were foundona subsequent trip in November 1990. Also in November, followinguponanold lead of Jerry Atkinson's,theyunwittinglyrediscovered110-meter-deepSotanodela Porra (or Gorra) outside Tlamaya. A smaller pit at the base of the hillwasnamedSotanodelMedico,dueto the largeamountofmedical waste, includingusedsyringes,thathadbeendumpedinto it.Sources:NancyWeaver,TexasCaver,February 1990,andMarkMinton. Cavers from the southeastern United States havemadeseveral trips to the area southeastofXilitla first enteredbyTex ans in 1989 (see above)andBritish cavers in1985-&J.Over Christmas, 1990, Gerald MoniandThannyMannsetupcampatPuertodeAmayoandfound eleven cavesandpits, including SotanodeCilantro, a 57-meter drop, SotanodeLamoras, latershowntobe170 metersdeepwith a 90 meter entrance drop, SotanodeQuireno, an undescended 67 -meter pit,andSotanodeTerrezu Herrara, a 55-meter freedropwith3SOmeters of passage at the bottom. The lattermaybethe same as theCuevadeEl Limon exploredbythe British. In March 1991, Gerald returned with Jack Thomisonandfound twenty-seven more caves, the deepestofwhichwasSotanodeLutevio (see article in this issue). SotanodeAliciawasa multidrop cave 115 meters deep. SotanodePenaBlanca was a 27-meter pit with a large diameterandtwopassagesatthe bottom, each250meters long.In1985, aboyfrom Xilitla diedwhenhefell into this pit. Seventeen cavers fromtheUnited StatesandMexico explored Lutevio, Lamoras,andanadditional ten caves in November 1991.Sotanodelas Ropas Perdidaswasa multi-drop cavethathadobviouslybeenvisited previously,asthere were footprintsandcarbidedumpsthroughout the cave. The most recent trip, in A pril1992, consisted ofonlyfour people, because the other five were turned back attheborder, unabletomeet the newrequirementthatthecar-owner have a VisaorMastercard. Eighteennewcaveswerefound, including Sotano Rubio,an82-meterpit,andSotanoChabelloMontoya, a multi-drop cave with good air flowanda stream. Many leads remainandwill be checkedona return trip planned for November 1992.Source:Alan Cressler.[lhave the impressionthatthesecaves are not being mapped. What a wasteoftime!-ed.]Inadditiontocaves mentionedinMexico News inAMCSActivities Newsletter18, Canadian cavers working in the Xilitla areaduringMexpeleo '89 visited a very large doline30metersdeepnear La Joya,butfound only a short cave,CAN1, at the bottom. West of Tlamaya, a local butcher showed them SotanodeCar nesaro,29meters deep. Theyalso redis covered SotanodelRincon,northof town. A tourist visit to SolanodeTlamayawasmarredbygarbage, especially dia pers, thathadbeendroppedinto the entrance pit.Source:SteveGrundy,CanadianCaver,spring 1990. Susie Lasko, Mack Pitchford,andPeterSprouse surveyedSotanodeMi croondas, near the southernEIAbra pass outside Ciudad Valles. The 43-meterdrophada too-tight meander at the bottom, with a flowofverywarmair. TheywerealsoshownCuevadePoncho, near the large NacimientodelRio Coy. Several leads were leftinthis interesting cave, which could provide access to theCoyaquifer.Source:Peter Sprouse,TexasCaver,February 1991.TAMAULWASA March 1992 expeditiontoSistemaPurificacionbycavers of the Proyecto Espeleologico Purificacion resultedin2294 metersofnewsurvey, makingthesystem 78,626meterslong.DonBroussard,MichaelCrawford,JohnFogarty, Sue Fogarty, Jack Kehoe, Susie Lasko,andPeter Sprouse spent sixdaysatCampI,not far inside the lower en trance, Infiernillo. Muchofthemappingtook place intheArrakis section, one kilometer southeastofthe entrance. The Rattlesnake Trailwaspushed about 500 meterstothe south,butended. Someotherside-passages in Arrakisweremapped,including onethatledtoanewpit. A lot of activity took place intheConfusion Tubes, where plentyofleads remain even after fifteen years of steady mapping. Manynewtubes weremappedintheeastern portionofthe maze,adding643 meters there. Several side-leads were alsomappedinthewesternportion,aroundtheMisty Borehole. A bit farther south, anewextension, calledtheBirthdayRoom,wasmadeofftheHellenic Borehole. PEP expeditions in Novembersof1990and1991concentratedontheCorona area,justsoutheastofSistema Puri ficacion.Thefirst expeditionsawnewexplorationandmappinginSotanodelas Calenturas,withtwonewentrances, ArafiasandBolsa,foundintheupperpart. LengthwasaddednearRomanPit, StonedSalamanderPit,andThanksgivingThruway, for a totalofaround700metersofnewsurvey.Onthesameexpedition, a large cliff entrance calledCuevadelaGargantawasreachedviaa SO-meterrappeldowna cliff.Itwasspectacular, being perched 200 metersabovethecanyonfloor,butonlywent100 metersasabreakdownchamber. Previously exploredCuevadelRio Corona,thepresumedresurgence cave for Calenturas,wasmappedfor906meters.OtherminorcavesmappedontheexpeditionwereCuevaPereza, 68 meters long,CuevadelCuero, 56 meters,CuevadelaTamabra,20meters,andCuevadelComando, 16 meters. Thereturntripin1991sawmoreworkin Calenturas. Anewpassage off the northernpartoftheTurasTubes, called the Brown Tangerine, yielded 125 meters,andcleanup surveywasdonein theHongKong maze. Jim Bowdenandotherdivers continued their explorationoftheupstreamsumps,doingabout500 metersofnewandresurvey.SotanodelasCalenturasis currently7511meters long.WorkalsoresumedatCuevadelRio Corona,wheretheremainingknownpassagewasmapped,makingit llSO meters long. Acaveinthecliff just abovetheCorona, calledPieenBoca,wasalsomapped,leadingtoasumpjust opposite asumpinCuevadelRio Corona. Arappelofa ISO-meter waterfall gained accesstoCuevaParaiso Diffcil, described further below.Another150 meter cliff rappelwasdonetoreach CuevadeEIViolin, several kilometers north westofYerbabuenaonthewestsideoftheCoronacanyon. A waterfallhadbeen seenpouringoutofthis entranceduringa rainy-season aerial reconnaissance. AboutISOmetersofmazeywalking pas sagewasmappedtosix different sumps. A SO-meter rappeldownthe cliff south westoftheCoronaresurgence led to WestCliffCave, whichturnedouttobeamereshelter. Tothesouth,nearLos San19

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19Pedro, a fissure-mazecavecalled SotanodeCerrodelaCruzwasmappedfor about 200 meterstoanapparentend. Anumberofmore minor tripstothe Purificaci6n areainrecent years haveaddednewcavestothe rosterandex tended others.InMay 1990, a trip to the CuevadelBrinco portionofSistema Purificacionresulted in about200meters ofnewsurvey. Most of this wasinanupstream extensiontothe Dragon River, where three lead-climbsupwaterfalls were done. Then, in September 1990, a reconwasdoneatthesouthern endofthe project area, near Pino Solo,bySusie Lasko,RaUlPuente, Peter Sprouse,andCorey Zeigler.Twonewcavesweremapped,CuevadelaCaseta Forestal,55meters long,andCuevadelos Treboles, a 15-meter-long riftthatmayhave been previously explored. This area wasrevis ited inJanuaryl992byMichael Crawford, Peter,andSusie, resulting in the map ping of 6O-meter-longCuevaRabona, a formation cave above La Reforma. Also mappedwasCuevadela Nieve, a50meter-long tectonic fissure underneath Highway 10l. A tripwasmadeinMay1991tothe area near Cuevadela L1orona, in which apushwasmadein the Frankenstein Room, resul tinginonI y50meters ofnewsurvey. Anumberof small caves weremappednearUoronaandtied in to the surface survey:Sotanodela Silla, 9 meters deep,SotanoSinRamales, 9metersdeep,andCuevaDientedeTiburon,10meters deep.NearEIChihuefield more caves werefound: Cueva Buzz, 12 meters long,CuevaPico y Pala, 10 meters, and Cueva Saluki, 10 meters.InDecember 1991, explorationwasconducted around ConradoCastillo, neartheBrinco entrancetoSistema Puri ficaci6n.InCuevadelBorrego, another 168 metersofcomplexmazewasadded,making that cave 1354 meters long.Uponleaving that cave, Allan Cobb slippedanddislocated a knee.InSotanodela Cuchilla, someupperandlower loopswerediscovered,adding182 meters for a total of 1306 meters. At attempttopushthe Dragon River waterfallsinSistemaPurificacionwassumpedoutbyhighwater levels. Fournewpitswerefound in the vicinity: Pozo Inteligente, 48 meters deep,Pozo Lucha Culebra, 9 meters deep, Sotano Deslocalizado,40meters deep,andPozo Pinto, 32 meters deep. A bit lower down, near Galindo,twosmall caves, Cueva Cassiopeia, 35 meters long,andCueva Magnolia, 32 meters long, were mapped.Source:Peter Sprouse.OnMarch 28, 1989, Sheck Exley set anewworlddepthrecord foranysurface to-surface Scuba dive with a cave divetoabout-265meters in NacimientodelRioMante(see alsoAMCSActivities Newslet ter17). A ten-person team of divers from the United StatesandMexicosupportedthedive, which took135hoursandre quired twelve different gas mixtures in thirty-one tanks. Various specially con structed piecesofgearwere usedtodeal with the extreme pressures atthatdepth. Insteadofleveling out,asexpected, theunderwaterpit continued almost straigh tdown.Source:Sheck Exley,NSSNews,June 1989,Underwater Speleology,May June 1989. AresurveyofSotanodeVenaditowasbegununderthe direction of Don BroussardduringMexpeleo '89,andis continuing. This major arroyo caveonthewest sideoftheSierradeElAbrawasfirst surveyedinthe'60sand70s,butthe noteswerelostandamapwasnever produced. The 55-meter entrance shaft is followedbyseveralmoredropstobase level, which requires substantial swim mingtotraverse.Onthemostrecent trip, in December 1991,a previously unknownwindowwasnoticedonthefar wall oftheentrance pit,nearthebottom. It will requireaidtoenterandwillbea prime goalofthe next trip. Todateabout one kilometer hasbeensurveyedoutof an estimatedtwokilometersoftotal known cave.Source:DonBroussard,Texas Caver,February 1990,andJoe Ivy. A potentially majornewcave, Cueva Paraiso Diffcil,wasdiscovered in the Purificaci6nareain December 1990 by Terry Gregston, accompaniedbyPaul FambroandRobert Schulze. The mainentrancewasdry,approximately10meterswideby30 meters high,andlo catedmidwaydowna 220-meter-high cliff. A second,wetentrancewasspotted 30 meters lower. Fifty meters to the sideoftheentrance a waterfalldroppedtherl '30,40:!70rreot90100110120150 160t170 18020SOTANODELACUCHILLATAMAULIPAS, MEXICOPROFILEPLOT LENGTH:1306:.1\DEPTH:172MPEP1/92

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19full height of the cliff intoanemerald pool.InNovember 1991, after a ISO-meter rappeldownthewaterfallanda techni cal climbupintotheentrance, the first team entered Paraiso. Themainborehole passageranalmost level for 300 metersandthendropped30 meters into a large room. This room, 30by30 metersandSOmeters high, contained a waterfallandmassive formations. Leads were seen both upstreamanddownstream.In A pri11992,aneight-person crew set acampjust inside themainentrance to reduce travel time. The lower resurgence entrancewasenteredbutappearedtosumpafter about200meters of mostly swimming passage. A leadupstreamfrom the big roomprovedto be well decoratedbutnot very productive;down stream leads weresumpeddueto high water,butprobably connect to the resur genceentrance. The most promising lead is the continuationofthe main borehole at the top of the waterfallontheopposite side of the big room,butit will require a serious technical climb.Source:Terry Gregston. Recent explorations in the Purificaci6n karst are described in anewProyecto Espeleo16gico Purificaci6n publication,TheDeathCoralCaver.In addition to extensionsofthearea'smajor caves BrincoInfiernillo(SistemaPurificacion),Tecolote, CaIenturas,and Llorona,manysmal1ercavesaredescribed."Deathcoral," a painful-to-traverse speleothem common in the area, is discussed inde-tail.Source:DeathCoralCaverno.I,October1991. Jerry Atkinson, Chuck Cluck, and Rich Rohwer surveyed CuevadeTiguereintheOlmocanyonatthebase ofthePurificaci6n karstin November,l990. This 300-meter-long borehole was first foundbyCharles Fromen in the mid-1970s.Source:Peter Sprouse. Six Texas cavers checked the east crest of the SierradeGuatemala north of the Nacimiento del Rio Sabinas in November1991. After driving to Julilo, they cleared the roads to within a two-hour walk of Carabanchel. In additiontosome promising pit leads,theydiscovered strange stone walls of undetermined age built through the karst, with noapparentpurpose. They returned via RanchodeCielo to G6mez Farias,butthe road wasverybadgoingdownoff the mountain. A return is planned.SOl/rce:BillRussell. After visiting Cueva deAbra, Brit ish caver DaveJarman got his foot wedged in the loose talus leadingdownfrom the cave, causinghimto fall.Hesustained acompoundfractureofthe right ankle as well as a second fracture below the right knee. Fortunately, he was with a largepartyof BritishandTexas caverswhowereable to splint the leg and fabricate a makeshift stretchertotransporthimthe rest of thewaydowntothe road.Hewastreated successfullyina hospital in Valles.SOl/rce:Don Denton,TexasCaver,February1992.VERACRUZAn internationalteamof cavers ledbyRam6n Espinasa of SMES has pushed SotanodeBerro (see Mexico News inAMCS Activities Newsletter18)at the base of PicodeOrizaba to asumpatadepthof 818 meters. Some leads remain.Onone tripoutof the cave, a large rock serving to anchor a rebelay broke off while someonewascrossing it. The caverendedupsuspendedin the pit with a forty-kilogramrock attached to hiscow'stail. For tunately,hegotoff withonlya scare.SOl/rce:SOI/STerre,Spring 1991. The British Black Holes Expedition that is the subject ofanarticle elsewhere inthisissuevisitedsomecavesinVeracruz.YUCATANNASA satellite imageshaverevealed a semicircle of water-filled sinkholes near Chicxulub thatarebelievedtobeevi dence of anenormousim pact crater over twohundredkilometersindiameter. The so-called Cenote Ring has been found from core samplestodatefrom the Late Cretaceous,about65million years ago. Severalotherpiecesofevidencehaveled scientists to conclude that thismaybea remnant of the impactofa largeextrater restrialbodythatisproposedasanexplanation for the extinctionofthedinosaursandthe beginning of the Tertiary period.Source:Natl/re,May 9,1991.TAKENOTHINGBUTPICTURESLEAVENOTHINGBUTFOOTPRINTSKILLNOTHINGBUTTIME21

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19LONGCAVES OF MEXICOPeter Sprouse June 1992 Lengthinmeters1 Sistema Purificaci6n 2 SistemaHuautla3 CuevadelTecolote 4 Sistema Cheve 5 Sistema Cuetzalan 6 Coyalatl 7 Sistema Naranjal (Najaron-Maya Blue) 8 Kihaje Xontjoa 9NohochNahChich10Atlixicalla11Grutas de RanchoNuevo(San Crist6bal) 12 Nelfastla de Nieva 13 CuevadeArroyoGrande14 Sistema de Angel (Ehocoklh) 15 Sumidero Santa Elena16Cueva Yohualapa 17 Cuevadela Pefta Colorada 18 CuevadeComalapa19AtepolihuitdeSan Miguel20S6tanodeLas Calenturas21S6tanodelArroyo22Acmn Kaua23CuevadelMano24Xongo Dwi'fti25SumiderodeJonotla26Gruta del Rio Chontalcoathin27Sistema H31-H32-H3528GrutadelRio San Jer6nimo29Los Bordos30CuevadeAguaBlanca31GrutasdeJuxtlahuaca32CuevaQuebrada33Veshtucoc34Sistema Ocotempa35SistemaGuayateno36CuevadelNac. del Rio San Antonio 37SacActun38Sistema Atlalaquia39S6tanodela Tinaja40S6tanodeJapones41Cueva Escalera42S6tanodeAguadeCarrizo43Sistema SanAndres44Sumidero de Pecho BlancoNo.245CenoteZapote46S6tanodelRio Iglesia47SistemaZoquiapan48SimadelBorrego49Aztotempa 50 CuevaBurrodromo22Tamaulipas Oaxaca Tamaulipas Oaxaca Puebla Puebla Quintana Roo Oaxaca Quintana Roo Puebla Chiapas Puebla Chiapas Puebla Puebla Puebla Oaxaca Veracruz Puebla Tamaulipas San Luis Potosi Yucatan Oaxaca Oaxaca Puebla Guerrero Puebla Guerrero Chiapas Tabasco Guerrero Quintana Roo Chiapas Puebla Puebla Oaxaca Quintana Roo Veracruz San Luis Potosi San Luis Potosi Oaxaca Oaxaca Puebla Chiapas Quin tana Roo Oaxaca Puebla Guerrero PueblaQuintanaRoo 78626 52653 28119 22500 22432 19000 15850 135001338111700 10218 8500 8334 8000 78847820 779377507700751172006700 6630 650063815827 5745 560052115200 5098 50004930472047204570 4542 4530 4502 4500 4500 447744714435 4298 4206 4107 4087 4000 3962 Beyond the third drop, PozodeMontemayor.Peter Sprouse.

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PeterSprouseJune 1992DepthinmetersAMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19DEEP CAVES OF MEXICO1 SistemaCheve2 SistemaHuautla3 Akemati 4 Kijahe Xontjoa 5 SistemaOcotempa6 Akemabis 7 Sonconga 8GuizaniNdiaGuinjao 9 Sistema Purificaci6n 10 NitaCho11S6tanodeAguadeCarrizo12 S6tanodeEl Berro 13 S6tanodeTrinidad14 X'oy Tixa 15 NelfastladeNieva16 NiaQuienNita 17 Nita Ka 18 Sistema H31-H32-H35 19 Sonyance20Nita Xonga21Yu Nita22Aztotempa23S6tanodelos PIanos 24 Resumidero el Borbo1l6n25S6tanodeTilaco26NitaNashi27 Sistema Atlalaquia28CuevadeDiamante29R'jaManKijao 30 NitaHe31CH54 (Meandre-Qui-Traverse) 32 SistemaCuetzalan33 S6tanodelas Coyotas 34 S6tano Arriba Suyo 35 SistemadeAngel (Ehecoklh) 36 S6tanodelRio Iglesia 37 S6tanodeNogal38GrutasdeRanchoNuevo39 S6tanodeAhuihuitzcapa40S6tanodelasGolondrinas41Hoyadelas Conchas42S6tanodelBuque 43 PozodeMontemayor44Cuevadel Tizar 45 NitaChaki46HoyadelasGuaguas47CuevadeSan Agustin48CuevadeAguadeCarlota49S6tanodeElBarro (El S6tano) 50HoyadeSanMiguelOaxaca OaxacaPueblaOaxacaPuebla PueblaOaxaca OaxacaTamaulipasOaxacaOaxacaVeracruzSan Luis PotosiOaxacaPueblaOaxaca OaxacaPueblaOaxacaOaxaca OaxacaPueblaPueblaSan Luis PotosiQueretaroOaxaca VeracruzTamaulipasOaxaca Oaxaca PueblaPueblaGuanajuatoSan LuisPotosiPueblaOaxacaQueretaroChiapasVeracruz San Luis PotosiQueretaroQueretaroNuevoLe6n San Luis Potosi Oaxaca San Luis PotosiOaxacaOaxacaQueretaroGuerrero1386 1353 120011601070 1015 943940904 894 843 838834813 778 767760753 745740704 700 694 678 649"641623621613 594588587581563 533531529 520 515 512 508 506501500 493 478461460455 45523

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19DEEPPITSOFMEXICOPeter SprouseJune1992Depthinmeters241 S6tanodeEl Barro(ElS6tano) 2 S6tanodelas Golondrinas 3 S6tanodeTomasa Kiahua 4 S6tanodeAlhuastle 5 Nita Xonga 6 SotanitodeAhuacatlan 7 S6tano del Arroyo Grande 8 Resumidero del Pozo Blanco 9 S6tanodelAire 10 Sistema Ocotempa11S6tanodelos PIanos 12 S6tanodeEladio Martinez13S6tanodeCoatimundi14 S6tanodeSendero 15 Resumidero el Borbollon 16 Cueva del Tizar 17 P17 18 NacimientodelRio Mante 19 HoyadelasGuaguas20Sistemadela Lucha21Sistema H3-H422Kijahe Xontjoa23S6tanodeSoyate 24 S6tanodeAlpupuluca25Cuaubtempa26S6tanodePuerto de los Lobos27S6tanodeHermanosPeligrosos28Hoyadela Luz29Ahuihuitzcapa30Sima delCedro31S6tanodela Cuesta 32 Sima Dos Puentes 33 S6tanodelos Monos 34 S6tanodeOtates35EISocav6n 36 S6tanodelos Ladrones 37 Nita Diplodicus 38 S6tanodeAguadeCarrizo39OC840OC441Kijahe Xontjoa42Pozo de Las Chinas43Ventana Jabali44S6tanodeCoatituesday45S6tano del Caballo Moro46S6tanodeMilpa47S6tanodeAtlalaquia48S6tanodePaila49S6tanodelos Guacamayos 50 S6tanodelRio Iglesia entrancedropentrancedropentrancedropP'tit Quebec Psycho Killer seconddropentrancedropentrancedropentrancedropPozo Verde seconddropentrancedropentrancedropentrancedropfirstdropentrancedropentrancedropMacho Pit entrancedropentrancedropsixthdropentrancedropentrancedropPozo con Carne entrancedropseconddropentrancedropentrancedropentrancedropentrancedropentrancedropentrancedropthirddropentrancedropentrancedropentrancedropFlip Pit entrancedropentrancedropVoid Drop China Well skylightdropentrancedropentrancedropentrancedropupperentrancedropentrancedropentrancedropXmas ShaftQueretaroSan Luis Potosi Veracruz Puebla OaxacaQueretaroOaxaca Jalisco San Luis PotosiPueblaPuebla Veracruz San Luis PotosiSanLuis Potosi San Luis Potosi San Luis Potosi OaxacaTamaulipasSan Luis PotosiChiapasPuebla Oaxaca San Luis Potosi Veracruz Puebla San Luis Potosi Veracruz San Luis Potosi VeracruzChiapasSan Luis PotosiChiapasSan Luis PotosiTamaulipasQueretaroOaxaca Oaxaca Oaxaca PueblaPueblaOaxacaTamaulipasSan Luis Potosi San Luis PotosiTamaulipasVeracruz VeracruzQueretaroTamaulipasOaxaca410376 330 329310288 283 233233221220 220 219 217 217210209 206 202 200 200 199 195 190 190 189 186 180 180 175 174172171171171170 170164160 160 155 154 153 147 146 146 145 143 140 140

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER191991AND1992 EXCURSIONSINARROYO GRANDE, CHIAPASMiles DrakeHalfwaybetweenthestate capitals Villahermosa, Tabasco,andTuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, along highway195isthe town of Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacan. In1990agroupofU.S.cavers converged on this town at the beckoning of Ruben Comstock, whose family founded a Sev enth Day Adventist retreat, school,andclinic.Hecontinued his grandfather's interest in caves,butdesiredthecom panyoffellowcavers.Attheendofthreeweeks(AMCS Activities Newsletter 18),thegroupall agreedthatthis area would require much more work, and that it mightbebetter to targettheareaofthe Ejido Arroyo Grande. This small Tzotzil village ontheother side of the small ridge northeast of Solistahuacan is accessiblebycar indryweather. (You woulddowell torememberthatphrase,"dryweather.")In 1990, it was discovered thatouralmost daily commute detracted from the joys of caving, so Ruben volunteered to arrange a secure building and a cook for the next year. In thiswaywecould arise each day, eat,andbeundergroundin as little asanhouranda half. Arroyo Grandeislocated in theupperreaches of a strikingly symmetrical val ley. The valley looks asifa giant pie shaped wedge had been removed. The apex, where there is a large resurgence, is alsothetopof a narrow canyon leading off downstream away from the wedge. From the apexupinto the wedge, mul tiple sandstone cliffs diverge up-dip to-wardtheridge line, untiltheyare seven kilometers apart. From ridge line to apex is five kilometers. The floorofthis valley is mostly limestone, the topographic gra dient parallelingthe15-degree northeastdipexcepttowardthetop,whereheadwarderosionhasnot yet breached the sandstone cap. There remains enoughofa catchment along the ridge to gener atemanysmall streams that are swal lowedatthecontacts, creating shafts. Someofthese shafts penetrate throughtwodeeper10-to-15 meter-thick sand stone layers todepthsofover200meters. At leastonemajor horizontal cave has developed along the surfaceofthese sand stones. Cueva del Arroyo Grande was surveyed to 3,600 meters, withmuchleft to survey.The Village of Arroyo Grande.DonGlasco.Returningin February1991were Don Coons from Illinois, Miles Drake, Fred Grady, Joanne Smith,andTom Wilson, all from the D.C. area,andJim Pisarowicz from California. Chris Welsh from D.C. also came with us. Asinthefirst year, there were some last-minute welcome additions:MarkCrapelle from CanadaandLizCanningfrom Australia, travel ingontheirwayto South America,andPeter Haberland fromNewJerseyandMatt Oliphant from California, both look ing for awarm-uptrip before Cheve. Allwereagain hostedbyRubenandMich elleComstockoftheSeventhDayAdventist colony. Rubenhadarranged forusto stay withtheJuan Dfaz L6pez family in the workshop area of their home, with his wife Martaanddaughters as "on call" cooks.Ofprimaryimportance was toruna survey to connectupperto lower Cueva del Arroyo Grandeandto survey as manyofthe remaining leads from the 1990 trip as possible. Rubenhadlocated another large borehole acrosstheupperentrance sink, as well as a nearby resurgence30meters offthefloorofa large cliff-lined sink calledLaPoza. We startedonFebruary4,divided27

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19into twogroupstosurveytoward each other. To connectupperArroyoGrandeto lower ArroyoGrandewas notaseasy asweanticipated.Ofourcrew,onlyRubenhadactuallydonethe through trip,andhewasnotonthis first trip. Chris, Peter, Joanne,andIwentinto theupperentranceanddownthe main bore hole passage,20to 30 meterswideby7 to10meters high,andinto Canon Zeta to the PasadizodeFlores Yeso (theGypsumPassage). It isonlyalong this serpentine canyon thatyouencounter anythingresembling a crawl. This upper-level passage once wasanin feeder to Canon Zeta from Sibec Beyon (Charcoal Canyon). A lO-meter handline pitdropsinto Sibec Beyon, wherewewere to beginsurveying. An active stream flows toward,butnever quite reaches, the lower entrance. The lower few meters of rock arepunkyandcovered with a black polish thatmadefor interesting traversing. Although Sibec Beyon is 1 to 2 meterswideandupto15meters high,oureighty-one shots averaged 6 meters,andwestopped beforewereached theothergroupheadingtowardus. We democratically decidedtodothe through trip. I lost.Itwas some 1400 meters before I recognized a landmark, still more than anhourfromthelower entrance. After twenty-one hours, itwasagain daylight, and trailhuntingonourhike backupthe hillwaseasier. Jim, Fred,andTom enteredthelowerentrance to continue last year'ssurveytoward us. The large entrance passage becomeschokedwithimpenetrablebreakdown,buta passage to the left, the F survey, leads past a waterfall-pit lead, the Toilet,orCascada Inodora. After80028metersofcomfortablecanyon2to3meters wideby10 meters high, a highdomecomplexand confusing side passagesarereached. Beyond this 800 meters, theupstreampassage ismorechallenging. After surveying the last359metersofthat in fifty-six stations, theyhadturned back.OnFebruary5,itwasuptoRuben, Don, Liz,Mark.,and Matt to connect theendsin only twenty-two stations totaling 345 meters, inaneight-hour through trip. Meanwhile, Jim, Fred,andTom started the T survey inthemaze leftoftheupperentrance, netting an additional245meters. This section trendedbeyond theentranceunderthe north wall of the dolineandwas quitedamp.February6,Jim, Tom, Joanne,andMiles surveyed217meters of fairly sleazy passage, continuing the T survey. The other looked at Ruben's borehole, 30 meters wideand300 meters long to where it intersects another sinkhole. Becauseofits proximity toCuevadeQueso Suizo (Swiss Cheese Cave), itgotnamedQueso Grande,anda smaller segment isnamedQueso Chico. In surveying oneofthemanyside passages, Matt, Chris, Don,andPeter connected to 521-meter-long Queso Suizo. A surface survey wasrunfromupperArroyo Grande past Queso Grande to Queso Chico. Withmanyleads left, hopes ran high for a connection withupperArroyo Grande. Theday'stotal for this seven-person crewwas777 meters, not including Queso Suizoandconsider able surface survey. The next day, one last trip was taken to finishtheT -survey area inupperArroyo Grande. Mark, Fred, Tom,andJoanne netted 160 meters of tight, sloppy,andterminal leads.Miles DrakeatCanon Zeta waterfall.JimPisarowicz.washot topushhis CuevadeLaPozaandrecruited Don, Matt,andmefor a look. The approach was not without interest.LaPoza istwocoalescing cliff lined sinks, each someISOmetersby80metersattheir topsand100 meters deep, with alandbridge separating the bot toms. The entrance is 30 meters off the floor of the western sink. Rubenhadchopped a trail traversing both sinks to thetopof a SO-meter cliff overlooking the entrance. We could either luganextra rope,rappelto the bottom,andclimb backup30 meterstothe entrance,ortherewasa trail, sort of, whichwetook. The bottom halfofthetrailwasbasicallyyourownpersonal rockslide. Somehow, last year Rubenandhis friend Jerry Wil sonhadtraversed a ledgeoverto theentranceandrigged fromittothe bottomofthe sink. We allhungonthis year-old rope,andit held. Don climbedupwith a replacement rope. Just 10 meters inside the alcove entrance, a stream plungesdowna 3O-meter pittoasmall entranceatthe bottomofthe cliff in the sink. Thisandthe bottombreakdownin the sink have yet tobechecked.Ourfirst interestwastopushupstream. Clean-washed streamway1 to 2 meterswideand4to10 meters high with easily climbed waterfallshaddeveloped primarily along a fault with only a few centimeters throw. Matt got to exercise his climbing ability, leading a 5 meter climbaroundandabove adeepplungepool. We allwerestilldrywhenwereachedanotherdeepplunge pool thatwouldrequirenotonlydeepwad ing,butalso a tricky-looking waterfall climb.Wetumedback with371meters in thirty-nine stations. Nighthadfallen,andthe golond rinas that roost in the entrance, surprisedbyourarrival, flew toward theonlyavailable light, ours. An interesting experience. AlsoonFebruary7,Liz, Peter,andChris surveyed a higher entrance abovethesecondmainentrancetoQuesoGrande,buttheywereturnedbackbyveryloose traverses. Rocks tossedbeyondthe traverse indicatedanotherpit,perhapsaccessible from asidelead offthemain passage below. InclementweatherdroveustoRuben'shomeathis kind insistence for a two-day break, cafeteriaandrestaurant food, chess,andboutsofroasting in frontofhis large fireplace.Bythetenth,wewerereadyto get back to business, with three crews. Jim, Tom, Joanne,andIheadedto

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19upperArroyoGrandeupCanonZeta to pick off a few leads. We discoveredonemissedontheprevioussurveythatledintheupstreamdirection to a IS-meterdropinto a largeroomprobablyaccessible from below.WedecidedtogooutthePasadizodeFlores Yesotofinishtheleads 60metersbefore Sibec Beyon in a smalldomecomplex. A small infeederwasfollowed a few shotstoa formation choke.Thedryleadatthetopofthedomeswassurveyedto abreezybreakdownchokeaboveSibec Beyon. In all, 313 meterswereadded.Chris, Mark, Fred,andPeterreturnedto leads inQuesoGrande,firstsurveyinga shallow sediment-ehokedpitinthefloorof the main passage, Theythenfound awindyinfeeder to survey, fairlylowandseemingly endless.Theyturnedback after forty-seven stationsand390 meters,wherethepassageloweredto lessthan0.5 meters,withastreamandstillplentyofairflow. The tripofthedaywasareturntoLa Poza.Itwassuspectedthatthestreamthat sinksinCanonZetaofupperArroyoGrandewouldresurgein La Poza.WhentheprevioussurveyofLaPozahadbeenplottedup,thepassagehadheadedtowardArroyoGrande.Joining Matt, Don, Liz,andRubenwereMichelle ComstockandJerry Wilson.Theycontinuedbeyondthepoolandwaterfall climbthatstoppedusonthefirst trip,surveyinganadditional 203 metersintwentystations, toanareaofbreakdownthatwaspushedupward20or30metersthroughseveralroomswithanoverhangingwall. Littledidtheyknowhowclosetheyreallyweretoconnecting. Later, after a surface survey,wefoundtheyhadputtheirlast station 24 meters directlybelowthesurveylinethroughtheupperArroyoGrandeborehole across fromtheentrance to Cafton Zeta. February 11, Joanne, Fred,andI inves tigated ashallowdolinethatwewalkbyonthetrail toupperArroyoGrandeanddiscovered lO-meterand4O-meter pitsanda shallowsandstonemazecave. Peter, Chris,andMarkpushedupstream Sibec Beyon,addinganother245 meters toArroyoGrandeandyetanothersmall,windylead. Don, Tom, Liz,andMattdidtheunusual, adiginthebottomoftheupperArroyoGrandeboreholeata pointwherea streamwasheard.TheybrokethroughUpperArroyo Grande borehole.MilesDrake,DonGlasco,andJimPisarawicz.andpusheddownstreamabout400 meterswithmuchairtoabreakdownchoke.Theupperseetionwasfoundtobeconfining,butafterabout200meters,thepassage became 5 to 15 meters wide. Somethingdidnot feel right for a connec tion to La Poza,anditwastrendingtoo far inthewrongdirection.Theyreturnedtothedigandpushedupstream,and,througha few short squeezesattheend,theyfound themselvesatthestream -sink point inCanonZeta. WheredoesthewaterinLa Pozacomefrom? The next day, February 12, JoanneandMilesreturnedtothepreviousday'spitdiscoverieswithPeter. The clean,butdamp40-meter pit ledtoa shortpassageendingata waterfalldownclimbintotheCafton Zeta,addinganother198 meters. MeanwhileourhostJuanDfaz LopezrememberedanearbyentranceandguidedFred, Ruben,andJerry Wilson to it. The impressiveentrancewastoomuchto leavewithoutchecking. Thepassagereducedto asandycrawl, which obviouslysumpsintherainy season.Waterflowsup4 to 5 meters into a large room,whereitdumpsits sediment.Theyfoundnowayon, despitetheverynoticeable breezethatflowsoutofthecrawl.Theyguessedabout100 metersofcavewasseen.Ontheday'sthirdtrip, Don, Tom,andChrissurveyedfromupperArroyoGrandealongouraccess trailandtied intoaconcretepowerpoleintownnearourcam p. The intentwastorunasurveylinedowntoCuevadeLa Poza, whichwasdonethenext day. Tom,Don,andlhadto haltthesurveyto give right ofwayto a passingswarmofbees. AlsoonFebruary 12, Liz, Peter,andMattsurveyedthedownstreamdiscoveryfromCanonZeta tothechoke,485metersin52 stations.Onourlastday,Fred, Tom, Joanne,andIdroppedthelO-meter pitwehadfoundnearthe4O-meter one.Twopas sages led offthebottom,whichwaslit teredwithempty,butobviouslyused,churchpledgeenvelopes,promptingthenameSimadelDiezmoRobado. The most inviting leadwenttoa smallroomwitha 4O-meter-deep slotinthefloor, obviously connecting tothepassageoffthebottomofthe4O-meter pitandCanonZeta. Wesurveyedthesmallerside-lead, whichtrendedinwhatwethoughtwasanodddirection, north,awayfromthelowerZ survey.Itwentdownstreamandgot progressivelysmallerandmuddier.Weturnedaroundaftera totalof216 metersandforty-six stations.Whena line plotwasmade,itshowedthepassagewastrendingstraight fortheupperentrancetoArroyoGrande.Thetrip'ssurveybroughtArroyoGrandeto 6890metersandQuesoGrandeto1750 meters,plusCuevadeLaPozato 575 metersandsmallnewcaves totaling 70 meters.Weaccomplished allourgoalsanddevelopednewonesforthefollowingyear.Jim, Joanne, Ruben,andIweretheonlyonesreturningin 1992,whatwitha conflictingChevetriprunbyMattthatalsotookDon, Chris,andPeter.DaveWestandKaren Willmes from MarylandandDonGlasco from Virginiawererecruited. Several objectiveskeptusbusyforthetwoweeks. First,wewantedto increasethelengthoftheArroyoGrandesystemasmuchas possible,tomakeit29

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AMesACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19SIJ\J4TOSANDTAPESURVEY2mBYWILLIlESLanotherresurgencecavealongthesouthface,CuevadelNido,andsurveyedit to a lengthof152 meters,toabreakdownchoke.Onthewaybacktobase,theysawwhattheynamedtheRailroad Tunnelhighinthecliffattheeasternendofthedoline. February 23,weall participated in gettingtotheRailroad T unneI.Theproblemsofanoverhangingroofaboveandunclimbable cliffbelowweresolvedbyproperropelocation,aidedbytwo-wayradios.Donwastheluckyonetofirstdescendtotheshortbutdifficult climbuptotheendoftheshadow.Weevencaughtmostofthisonvideo.Thenextday,Don, Jim,andI returnedtolowerArroyoGrandetofinish offtheremainingleadsintheF survey. Thisdisappointingtriponlyyielded110 meters beforeweranoutofleads.Oneexciting leadatCascada Inodora required a longerropethanwehadwith us.Originally, it wasthoughtthattheF-survey streamthatwentdownthis4-meter pit probablyresurged100 meters inside the entrance. This year,thevolumeofwaterII1015II ""o:;remote leads in ArroyoGrande'sSibec Beyon with Rubenandhis brother-inlawMike Sellars from Tennessee. They got 144 metersanddiscovered a passage with selenite swords, butterfly forma tions,andnicegypsumflowers. Dave, Karen, Joanne,andIheadedfor lower ArroyoGrandeto finish offleadsstartingneartheentrance. Dave, follow ing the air in anarrowfissure, climbedupintotightbreakdownandsawlight. Within minutes,hedughiswayintotheentrance roomofCuevadel Tecolote. After surveyingtheconnection,wecon tinued with other leads further in, for a totalof311meters. Returning to lower ArroyoGrandeonthetwenty-second, KarenandJoannebothfound different waysdownto a significantdownstreamlead rightattheentrance. We spent a longdayridge walking instead,andfoundtwopits, SimadeKaren,20meters,andanunnamed40orSO-meter pit, both near major trails. JimandDonreturnedtoDolinaGigante with Dave to locate more caves. After considerable poking,theylocatedI'fTERsCuevadeFredericoCHIAPAS.MEXICOone ofthetenlongestinMexico. This could easilybedonebyconnecting toCuevadeLaPoza,QuesoGrande,orTecolote.QuesoGrandeneededmuchmoreworkinbothupstreamanddownstreamleads.Last,weneededtoridgewalk the adjoining areas to find other entrancestothesystem.OnFebruary 17, 1992,ourseconddayin Chiapas,thesixofusdidathoroughsearch alongtheupperArroyoGrandeborehole foranyleadsdowntoCuevadeLaPoza,withoutsuccess.Ifa direct con nection isevertobemade, it willmorelikelybemadebydiggingupfrom theLaPoza side.ThenextdayJoanne, Karen, Ruben,andDavepushedthe firstdownstream lead inQuesoGrandethroughbreakdownto a stream canyon. Tremendousairflow indicatesmuchmorecave beyond a guillotine rock that forcesoneto swim.Perhapsthis connects withLaPoza. Because of the slick, black-varnished rock, thiswasnamedArroyo Negro. Another 143 meterswasaddedtoQuesoGrande. Don, Jim,andI did a surface recon neartheQuesoSuizoendofthesystem.Ourfirst discoverywasPozodeQueso, 33 metersdeep,whichwaswithin 5 meters ofthemain trail; DonandJim surveyed it later in the week. We alsomadeourwaydownintothevery large karst feature to the north, whichwecalled Dolina Gigante. This elongated doline has cliffs formuchofitslengthandtermi nates in cliffsonthe ends. Aswemadeourwayalongthesouthslope,wenotedstreams flowingdownfromthebase of the cliff. We foundtworesurgence caves, the largerofwhichwesurveyed;Cuevadelas Araftas Gigantes is 145 meters long. We thenchoppeddowntoa corn fieldandfound a trail totakeusupandout.OnFebruary19,Karen, Dave,andJoanne found a crawl attheheadwall opposite theupperentranceofArroyo Grande. Theyspenteightanda halfhoursfor a total of 183 meters,stoppingshort of a three-secondpitandanupstream,wetbellycrawI. Thiswasso invitingthatnoplansweremadetoreturn. Outside, just belowtheentrance,wasa two-second pit, so they decidedtocall this Two PitCrawlCave(CuevadedosSimasCravadas).Meanwhile,JimandDondroppedPozodeQuesoandfound it dead,andI joinedthemlater to checkoutsinks to the eastofDolina Gigante. Wedidfindonereal cave, 75-meterCuevaFractl, whichwesketched. The nextdayJimandDonwerereadyfor a hard day,andsotheytackled some31

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19entering the pit was considerably more than that at itssupposedresurgence. The water clearlywentelsewhere. Meanwhile, Joanne, Karen,andDave surveyed thedownstreamleads near the lower entrance of ArroyoGrandethathadbeendiscoveredonthetwentysecond. Thisturnedoutto be the stream that connected to that resurgence. They found a lower tube descending at a steep gradientthathada walkableceilingchan nel. Theyencountered several infeeders,butfinally lostthe streaminabreakdownchoke. They got 292 metersandestab lished a newdepthfor the system. February 26, JimandDon tackled Cascada Inodorain lower ArroyoGrande. A bolt was placedtoclear the waterfall,butthe 4-meter pit couldbefreeclimbed out, in the water. A 1-meter-by-3-meter clean-washed canyon sloped at about-8degreestothe north-northeast for191meters, where they were stoppedbya 5 meter waterfall pitch. Jimnamedthis 8K Canyon, as itputArroyo Grande over 8 kilometers long. Meanwhile, as a reward for surveying enough tough passage, IguidedDave, Joanne,andKaren to CuevadeFrederico, which had beenshownto FredGradyin1991byourhost. This very pleasant 163 meter cave has a lotofair, which issues from terminal breakdown,andabundantcavelife.DaveandIdugfor a couple of hours. ItwasDavewhodiscovered a squeeze at the entrancethatled to a short lower level. Although Frederico has not been tied inbysurface survey,itis a likely guess that this is theprimarysource of the water in Sibec Beyon.OnFebruary27,JimandDon returned to Cascada Inodora with Dave for the big push. They rigged the 5-meterdropback from the edge with a 15-meter ropeanda padanddescended to thetopofaneven wetter 2-meter waterfall. Don belayed Davedownto asumpthat mightbedrybyApril, later in thedryseason. Havinghadsuch a short trip, theyhadplentyoftime to setupa slide show for the villag ers. Ruben presented it three times, to abouttwohundredpeople. Karen, Joanne,andI missed the show, asourleads kept going. We went to a point about half way between theupperandlower entrances to ArroyoGrandeandsurveyed several cut-aroundsandonegypsummaze, for 166 meters. There are even a few climbing leads left. We returned tocampfairly late, to find Jimhadleft forhomewith his four-by-four. It started to rain.Bymorning, onl y heavier trucks were making it over the ridge. We hoped the road woulddryoutduringthe day. We all went off to lookatSimadeKaren, in weather that could bedescribed as heavy mist. The pit is only 30 meters off the trail to Soconusco. After riggingthe20-meter pit, Karen got to godownfirst. We waited while she checkedouthorizontal pas sages at the bottom,andthen DonandI followed. Two walking passageswerefound toendwithin 100 meters,buta third openedintoa15-meterdrop. Some thing for next year. The rain came back and closed the road. The nextdaywehired a couple of horsesandmuscled the restofourgearover the ridge to Solistahuacan. f1fI he areainwhichwehave concenJltratedourefforts measures 1by1.7 kilometers.Wehavesurveyed8334 meter-long Cueva del ArroyoGrandeandmore than3200meters in other caves. Allofthese caves seem to be perchedonseveral sandstone layers, as can easily be seen inadip-oriented profileonthe maps. Elsewhere in the valley there aredeepshafts that penetrate these layers toundiscovered systems. The lackofsurfaceUpperArroyo Grande, in the B survey.Dave West.streamsandspringsbelow1600 meters suggeststhatall thewaterentering the hydrologic system resurges at one spring atanelevationofabout950meters. Withknownshaft entrancesat2000 meters, the potential isgoodfordeepsystems.Sofar,ouremphasishas beenonsurveyingonesystem,butit is unlikely that Cueva del ArroyoGrandeis theonlyone, with morethan20squarekilometers left to check. We plan to return next February, withperhapsa second trip in April. Wewouldlike tothankall of the mem bersoftheexpeditions for their continuedsupportandindividualsacrifices,andalsoDougDotsonfordonatingSMAPS software, BobHokefor computerwizardry,andPat Kambesis for cartography.Expediciones al ArroyoGrande1991y 1992EIArroyo Grande esunvalledecalizaenal estadodeChiapas, cercadePueblo Nuevo Solistahuacan.Lacueva masgrandedela region es Cueva del Arroyo Grande. En 1991,Ia entradasuperiore inferior fueron conectadas midiendo as! 6890 metrosdelongitud. En 1992 se conecto con la Cueva del Tecolote, incrementandosulongirud a8334metros. Ademas se topografio sobre tres kilo metrosenotrascavernasadyacentes. Sinembargoelareaseencuentraauninexplorada.32

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19CUEVA DEL TECOLOTE THE 1991AND1992 EXPEDITIONSPeter Sprouse Proyecto Espeleologico PurificacionBy 1990, ten yearshadpassed sincewebegan the PEP survey ofCuevadel Tecolote. At age ten,manylengthy caves begin to slow down,butT ecolote, it seems, has a fondness for growing in sizeasweget farther in. The 1990and1991expedi tionsmademajor extensions, resulting in an excellent leadmenufor the upcoming 1993 effort. Tecolote is situated in the easternpartofthePurificaci6n karst area northwest ofCiudadVictoria. The 22-meter-high entrance takesanarroyothatdrains sev eralsquarekilometersoflandaroundthe Ejido Los San Pedroso The cave proceedsdowna series of shortdropsconnecting segmentsofclean-washed streamwayto adepthof200meters. At this point the cave flattensoutin a sprawling complex of boreholesandmazes. Since its discovery in 1973byCharles Fromenandcavers of the Greater Hous ton Grotto,onlya fewhundredmetershadbeen exploredpriortothe beginning of the PEPsurveyin 1980. The cavegrewsteadily in length through the 1980s,andin 1989 we decided to establish the firstundergroundcampin the cave.CampI was 1700 meters in, at adepthof200meters. Itwasa successful venture, with4104metersofnewpassage surveyed. Wediscovered a majornewstreamtrunkcalled theChihueFrihue, which was headed toward thepresumedresurgence ten kilometers away.(SeeAMCSActivites Newsletter 18.)Ifn com parison to the 1989 effortbythirJLteen cavers, in 1990wewereundermanned, with only six caversatthebeginning.Ourinitial team consistedofV al Ellis, Ray Keeler, Jack Kehoe, Jack "Solo" White,andme. Aswepackedupforourrigging andsupplytripon5 March, John Greer showedupanddecided to joinusonthe supply run. Rigging aswewent,wereachedcampin 5.5hourswithtwenty-kilo duffels. Wedroppedourloadsandstarted the trip out. The cavewasdryandappeared not to have flooded since 1989. After this fourteen-hour trip, ValandJohn decided toheadback to Texas rather than proceed intocamp. The other four of uswentin toCampI,with plentyofelbow room in the60meter-longcamproom.On7 March we beganoursurveys. The fourofusset off for the Millennium Falcon, wherewerigged Peter's Alpine Slide. Anumberof years before, Peter Keyshadtaken an unintentional slidedownthis steepmudslope. Wemappeddownina sizable borehole,butit soon got smallandslopeddownto amuddyterminus. We returned to the Fantasia Borehole and the site of myarm-breakingfalltheyear before. The tape showedthatI had fallen6.1meters. Thenwewent to a climbing lead at the end of the Fantasia Borehole. We lassoed ahom,andRay ascended, only to findthatitendedbylooping back in below. Thenwemovedontoa left-hand crawl farther in, It's aDig,which soon pinched. Finally,wemappedintheMickey Mouse Maze area. WedidtheUnreel Loop from the PowerNapPassagetotheYucky Poodle Trunk,andmadetwomoreloops besides. We got 294 meters in a thirteen-hour trip, makingthecave 17,954 meters long.Thenextdaywewokeat12:30PMand got off at 5:00. Wesetoff for a lower-levelleadbelowtheMajorAbysscalled Mumble-a-BitPit,amuddydropexploredtheyearbefore. The passageatthebot tom had beenmappedforsomedistancetotheleft. Thistimewesurveyedto the right in a nice walking passage,muddyasalways. Beforelongweneeded ahandlinetodescendamuddyflows tone climb. Below that,itwentawaysbefore pinchingina tight fissure. Ray left one small crawl going.Thenwewentinto the left passagetopickupthesurveyat station TEA 11.Althoughthiswasalso a crawl,atleastitwasstraightandclean, freeofthe nearly ubiquitous mud.Itended inbreakdownafter 60 meters.Inallwemapped180 metersinaneight-hour trip.Obviouslythestuffclosetocampwasn't yieldingmuchsurvey, soweknewitwastime togothedistance to theChihueFrihue. Sothenextdayweloadedupourwetsuitsandset offat5:00PM.Ittook 1.5hourstogettoNonadLake. WeshotphotosuptotheWeirdPlace, resurveyedtwoloops inthedrybypass, thenwentontotheendoftheFrihue. Wemappedthe50 metersofswimthatSolo33

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19hadexploredbeyondtheendofthepre vioussurveylimit,deepandblack water, then over a hilltothelast lakehe'dseen, a 17-meter swim. Thenwewereintodryboreholewithnumerousside leads. This was obviously a distinctly different sectionofthecave,whichwenamedMegaland.Ontheleft weretwoleads where thewatermaydrain,andontheright was a boreholethatJack checked for200meters. Aheadwemappedinto a large complexzonewithspinyTamabraFormation blocks thathaddroppedfrom the ceiling. A 20-meter-wide lead could be seen highona shelfontheright side. We shot a few stationsmoretotheThrone Room, where it got complex. Solo checked40metersaheadto a vertical chimney. Weoptedto backtracktoJack's bore hole lead for easier meters. We reeled off steady 20-meter shots inthelarge Fork ing B6rehole. Walking-size side leadswerepassedwithregularity.Highmudbanksflankedthewalls.Raystretchedoutfor a nap, whiletherestofusmappedanother200meters.Wetumedaroundweary,butlead-rich.We'dmapped900 meters, tomakethecave over19kilometers long. Itwasfourhoursback to camp,anda seventeen-hour trip in all. We got back tocampat 10:00AMonthe morningofthetenthandslept until evening. As anticipated, John FogartyandSusie Laskoshowedup,andwevisited withthemquite a while. At4:00AMontheeleventh, Ray set off forthesurface for some replacement boots. We slept,thengot gearedupfor a short trip. Ray got back just beforeweleft,butde-34cidedtostayincampwhilewewenttothenearby Spine Line, shooting photosandmappingseveral short passages.On12 Marchwesetoutwithtwoteams for Megaland.Wemadeit tothewater inonehour,andtotheendin three. Solo, Ray,andI split offandcheckedtwoleft leads which ended. Next I found awayupontothe20-meter-wide shelf I'd seen before,andreached a steep climb. Raygotupandrigged a sling for us. This gotusinto Easy Meters, a nice level bore hole. After60metersitsplit,withtheright lead, The Stroll, going 30 meters to a tricky climb.Leftwent anotherSOmeterstoadropinto borehole. Totheright, a crawlwasmappedfor30meters,thenexploredbySolo foranother30 to a pit. We then backtrackedtotheslingandwere preparing to leave thisareawhenI suggested to Solo thatheshould check a crawl visibleupa slope.Asheapproachedit, I realized that it was actually walking passageandwas farther awaythanIhadthought. Solo called back ''Yup, It's Another Borehole,"andsowenamedit. After 100meters, it hit a large room,theCone Karst Room. Atthenorthendwasan abyss, across which couldbeseen a continuing passage. At the southendwas a pit, also with a continuing passage atourlevelontheother side. All ofthepitswefound in this area plottedouttobedirectly above the Forking Borehole,andnodoubtdropright into it. Solo wantedtogobacktotheThroneRoom area, presumably thedownstreamroutetowardtheeventual resurgence. Wemappedahead into a zoneofcomplexflowstonecascades.NumerousPaullbberson(left)andJon Beaven lightupthe Forking Borehole. The floor consists oferodedflowstone blades.PeterSprouse.routesdroppedtowaterdownpits for whichwelackedrope. Ray climbedupintoahigherborehole thatwemappedfor60meters totwopits.Thenwehadtogobacktomeettheothers,haVingmapped676 meters. Susie, Jack,andJohnhadgoneuptheForking Boreholeandmappedtotheright, intothespinyGreat Godzilla Way. Thiswasanotherlarge,muddyborehole. Eventually itended,buttheyhadnumerousside leads left.Theyfollowedoneleadtotheleft, con necting itbacktotheendoftheForking Borehole. Another,atstation 183,wasa largetrunk,which remains unexplored.Theymapped517 meters,andourday'stotal was 1193 meters, for acavetotal of20,341meters.Wegotbacktocampattheendofaseventeen-hourtrip.Thenextdaywasreserved for restandcelebration.Wepartiedandatea pie, which Johnhaddecorated withthein scription''T20"tocommemoratethe passingofthetwenty-kilometer mark.On14 March, Jack, Susie, John,andIwentouttoGoofy'sBorehole intheStandingRoomOnlyarea. Checking a highlead,Iimmediatelyfoundborehole, whichwenamedtheGargoyle Gallery.Wemappedthroughthismazysection,pushingthroughtoSlimy's Pit. We followedJohndownthismuckyoverhangandmappedtotheleftinGrumpy'sBore holetoablowinglake,SnowWhite's. Johnwadedinandexploredtoanotherlake thatwewouldneedanetriertodropinto.TheotherwayinGrumpy'sBore hole ledtoa trickycanyonoverwater. We retreatedtoGargoyle Galleryandmappedloops untilJohnwanderedwayoff checkingleadsandranoutoflight.Hemadeitbackabitrattled,andweheadedout. John slippedwhiledescendingthe Gargoyle Climbandgotabadgashonhis ribs. Meanwhile, RayandSolohadgonedownintotheGalactic Trash CompactorbelowCampIandpushedit45meters to a pinch.Thentheywentupto Paul's Passageandmappeduptheterminalmudslope.TheytriedtogetuptheothermudslopeattheMajorAbyss,butcouldn't. SotheywenttophotographtheGoddessofLibertyandtheDamSide Passage. Theday'stotalsurveywas522 meters,makingthetotalsurveyfortheexpedition 3136 meters,andthecave

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19length 20,7% meters, the fifth longest cave in Mexico.On15March,ourlast fulldayin camp,wewentouttoshoot big photos in the Fantasia Borehole. We first spent thirty minutesandused forty-nine M3s doing a 200-meter shotdownthe passage,thendidonemore of half of the lengthofthebest part. Once back in camp,wepackedupgearwecould spareandhauled itupabovetheIdes March. Solo setuphis privatecampintheIdes, while the restofusreturned toCampI.The nextdaywelingeredovertea, then packedupourduffelsandsplit from camp. Wehadagoodtrip out, partially derigging,andpulled the re maining ropes the following morning, before driving back to Texas.Soendedthe second occupation ofTecolote'sCamp1,anditwasclear that the next trip would have tobetoaCampII.unusuallywarm, with little need for polypro clothing. We got the usual slow start forourfirst survey day. Paul, Dale,JJ,andIwentupthe Forking Boreholetothe Research Boulevard lead at the183Intersection. We wentupit for50meterstowherewewerestoppedbya steepmudslope. A lower level took us through a complex Tamabra maze,theResearch Maze, to intersect a large borehole. To the leftwemapped about100meterstoadrop, which probably connects back to themudslopewe'dbeen stoppedbyin Research Boule vard. To the rightwemappeduptoanoverhung lead climb, with the borehole continuing above. We then backtracked to the 183 Intersection,mappinga short loopandthen a longer one, Little Bambi Ways IandII.Ourteam's survey forthedaywas407 meters. Ray'steamincluded Solo, Steve,andDave,andtheir objectivewasthedropbelowtheThroneRoom. This shortdropwentimmediatelytoa swim, so they retreated backtothetopofthedropto lookatacrawlRayhadbeeninthe year before,butitended.Backtracking a bit more,theydidtheshort climbupto the high boreholethatwe'dmappedthe year before,theKing's Gallery. There they checked a holeundera large blockandfound aroutebackdowntowaterlevel. Theymappeda seriesofmud-floored passagesanda small strearnwaytoasump,butcouldn'tregain the main drainageroute. Theirday'ssurveywas323 meters. Meanwhile, Jack, Scott,andValhadgonebacktothedrop-off pointtoget gear,andtheymetPeterandCyndie coming in.Theytrickled intocampthatnight.Inall,wehadmapped730 metersIForthe1991CampIIpushfar inside Tecolote,weassembled a team ofthir teen cavers: Paullbberson,DaveSavage,andJon"JJ"Beaven, all fromtheUnited Kingdom, Dale ChaseandSteveGrundyfromCanada,andVal Ellis,CyndieWalck, Scott Scheibner, Ray Keeler, Jack Kehoe, Peter Quick, Solo White,andI from the United States. We arrivedatthecave entranceon2 March,andthefol lowingmorningsortedropeandpacked gear for thesupplyrun. We got off at2:40PMandriggeddownthe Tecolote en trance series, pickingupstashedsupplies atCampI.We gottotheMudFun nel after sevenhours'travelanddroppedourgear. The nextdayweconcentratedonab sorbing solar radiation,andthat eveningweshowed Tecolote slidestoaboutsev enty villagers, using Ray's portable gen erator for power.On5 Marchwepackedupourfinal duffelloads.Cyndie and Peter decided to wait outside adayduetomild illnesses. The restofus headed inandmoved steadilyoutto the drop-off point. I ledonthrough the ChihueFrihue withJJ,Dave,andSteve. The swims were easy with duffels,butfatigue was setting inbythe timewefound camp. We tried to find a suitablecampintheForking Borehole,butendedupgoinguptheclimbtoEasy Meters.Ourcamphadamplefloor-space, though itwasa bitmuddy.Everyone straggledinafter the eleven-hour duffel haul, ate,andcrashed.CampIIseemedScott Scheibner views"Bestin the Cave" formationinthe Standard Borehole Unit.PeterSprouse.35

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u.:.0\NWELLIE.WAYCHIHUEFRIHUEENTRANCEINFINITYTUNNELgUEVI\DELTECOLOTELOSSANPEDROS,MUNICIPIODEGUEME?:TAMAULIPAS,MEXICOLENGTH:28,119 MDEPTH:408MSURVEYS1980-1991BYPROYECTOESPELEOLOGICOPURIFICACIONCAVEVIEWLINEPLOTSPREPAREDBYPETERSPROUSETOPOGRAPHYFROMINEGI1:50,000F14A18o5001000 1500I I I IMETERS()Vl()::j:sVltt'T1t'T1ZO;jt'T1....\0

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19that day, making the cave 21,526 meters long.Myteamon7 MarchwasPeter, Cyndie,andScott. Wewentupinto the Forking Borehole with Jack's team, which in cludedH,Steve,andDale. At a point where a leftspursplit intoupanddownleads,myteamtookthe lower way. This leddownanarrowrifttoaT junction. To the right, theSprayShot Passagewentabout50meterstoa lake, whichwedeclinedtopush. To the left,weclimbedupto a junction,wheretheright-hand lead tiedbackintotheForking Borehole. Cyndie followedtheleft leadupto a steeply ascendingmudslope. Returning totheForking Borehole,wechose a major leadupa slope that Jack had lookedattheyearbefore. Wenamedthis the Pyramid Passage for themuddunesat thetopof the hill. At a junction,wefound that the left-handwayled to thetopof Cyndie'smudslope, while the right-handwaycontinuedonas the Bold Woman Borehole (where nomanhasgone before). This passageled to several high windows overlooking a large pas sage thatwesuspectedwasthe Great Godzilla Way. Leaving Peter there, the restofus circledaroundupthe Forking Borehole to the Godzilla, confirmingandmappingthe tie-in.Ourday'ssurveyamountedto 388 meters. Meanwhile, Jack's teamhadtaken theupperlead wheremyteamhadgonedownatthe beginning of the survey. Theymadeitpartwayupadomeclimb before turning back. Sotheywent a bit fartherupthe Forking Boreholetoan otherupwardlead, which soon connectedtothetopofthedomethey'dbeen tryingtoclimb.Italso continued on,UpUpandA way. This eventually got too steep for them,butit is a promising flowstone lead-elimb forthefuture.ThentheywentbackdowntheboreholetowardcampandrnappedupintotheCrossjoint Lead, whichledtoanupper-level passagemappedtheprevious year, called AnotherBorehole.Theycrossed this pas sage, tied in,andwentintoanotherleadontheotherside. AtthatmomentIwasentering camp, whichwasemptyexcept for a sleeping Val. IheardvoicesandrealizedthatJack'steamwascorningoutofthe unexplored leadatthefarendofcamp. I holleredtothem, startling Val,whothoughtIhadcomeoutofthevirgin lead,outofhis slumber. Itwasanamusingsceneasthesurveyors tied intheloopoverCyndieandScott's sleeping bags. Theyendedupwith356 meters for the day. Thedownstreamteamwasagain ledbyRay,andincluded Solo, Paul,andDave. TheywentdownthedropbelowtheThrone Roompreparedforthewater.Inthedownstreamdirectiontheyex ploredtoasump,andupstreamtheygottoa flowstone chokewitha dribble ofwatercorningoutofit. So oncemoretheyretreatedtotheKing's Gallery,whereRayhadnoticed ahighleadabout15 metersupthewestwall. Paulgotuptoa nice oval tube,NoMudOver. This soon forked,withtherightwaygoingtoa largebreakdownchamber, the 747 Room. Totheleftwasa shortdropinto a complexareawherePaulreporteda walking passagethatkeptongoing.Theynetted 267 metersofsurveyfortheday, makingourday'stotal 1 012 metersandcarryinguspast Sistema Cuetzalan into third placeonMexico's long list.Myteamon8MarchincludedCyndieandH,andourfirst projectwastyingtheendofEasyMetersnearcampintotheForkingBorehole,withhelpfromScott,wholoweredthetapefrom above.Wethenjoined Peter, Steve,andDaleattheclimbingleadattheendofResearch Boulevard.Somehowtheypassedtheleadontome,andIsqueakedupitonfiveimprovisedprotections. Atthetopwasafurtherlittle climbup,thenamoremajoronethatwelackedgearfor.Thepassageatthetoplookedextremelypromising,amajorinfeedercorning fromthenorththatweneedtogobacktowithfulllead-climbinggear.We re treatedtotheResearch Mazetodoclean-TheStandardBorehole Unit.PeterSprouse.37

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19FARPOINT\\.t_..,\(MEGALANDRESEARCHBOULEVARD)CHIHUEFRIHUEGREATGODZILLAWAYMOTHEROFALLBOREHOLESCORALBOREHOLEUNEXPECTEDBOREHOLE_JCLIMBDEATHMUDPAUL'SPLUNGEYOUUSJUNCTIONCUEVADELTECOLOTECAMPIIAREAPEPSURVEYS1989 1991Nm/STANDARDBOREHOLEUNIT100200300400500I IIIoIROADTONOWHEREWELLIEWAY38

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19PeterSprousegetsaboostupa climbinResearch Boulevard.JohnBeaven.upworkin breccia porosities,eventually meetingupwithPeter's team, whichhadfollowed aleadofftheForking Borehole intothemaze.Myteamgotonly104metersfortheday,andPeter'sgot208 meters.Just as it seemedthatoursurveys were shrinking, Ray, Paul, Scott, Val,andDave came intocamplate with good news: the Mother of All Boreholeshadbeen found. Theyhadpushedthroughthe747Mazeandintersected a major north-south trunk, the Standard Bore hole Unit. Theymappedsteadily south west,throughdecoratedtrunkwith oc casional flowstone downclimbs. As the passage got bigger in massive breakdown, they stopped in the Mother of All Bore holes with605meters inthebag. Wehada3:00AMcam p celebration overthis stroke of good fortune. Theday'stotal survey was 917 meters,butnowwelooked for ward to doubling that. The nextdayweall set off for thenewborehole, thirteen strong in four teams. AttheStandardBoreholeUnitweplanned adoubleleapfrog, withtwoteams to the rightandtwoleft,downstream. Jack, Cyndie,andValmappedthe north,upstreamextensionoftheStandardBorehole Unit, gaining 188 meters before itendedabruptly. That left the upsteam leapfrog teamofPeter, Dale,andSteve withonlya small, spiny side lead, which looped backtothe747Room;theynamedit the Porcupine's Arsehole. While Ray'steamcontinuedmappingsouth from where theyhadleft off attheMotherofAll Boreholes, Paul, Scott,andIlea pfrogged aheaddownthe large truck for severalhundredmeters to aT junc tion. We set a station marked witharrowswhich read"youus,"andwemappedintotheleft-hand borehole. Thiswasa nice gravel-floored inlet with occasional poolsandclimbs. After 218 meters,wewerestoppedbya swim, which Paul triedtotraverse around,buthe fell off intothewater, giving thenamePaul's Plunge.Wereturned to the You-Us Junc tionasRay's team tied in his237meters of surveydownthe Motherofall Bore holes. Some recruits from theupstreamteams filtereddownalso, looking for work. Ray, Scott,andSolowentback uphilltopursuea westward leadthatScotthadseen.Itturnedoutto be a straightandleveltrunkover600meters long. They stopped in the Death Coral Borehole at a trickymudclimb up. Peter, Steve, Dale,andDave "Probe Unit" Sav age leapfrogged aheadofmyteaminto the You-Lead, whilemyteammappedtheir tracks. They began theirsurveyabout200meters ahead at a lake, sparing us the wade. Theythenfollowed a flow stone passagedownanddown,thenuparampinthelarge Drutherhall ("drutherit was all like this"). They haltedata wall climb with a breakdown mazeatits base, netting476meters for theirday'swork. Meanwhile Cyndie, Paul,andImappedtoward their tie-in, doing a nice borehole loopandgoingdowna 6-meter drop. Just before the tie-in,welooked at a nice in feederonthe right wall,butcouldn'tquite get into it. Back at the top ofthe6 meterdropwemappedupa bigmudslope to the west. At thetopwasa nice passage that curvedaroundto the left to a largemudfunnel. At the bottomwasonly a small lead,butPaulmadeitupthe farmudslope to a continuing borehole. Iwentbackaroundtothe topofthemudslopeandfound a passage, the Scud, joining his,butcouldn't getuptohis level. I could continueoninthe Scud Passage, which split, with the left-handwaygoing to a small impassable hole in the floor of Paul'supperborehole. Iwentbackaroundtothemudfunnelandwemappedoninto the Grandmother Bore hole. We stretched the tape to the limit for anumberof shots, quittingwhenthe borehole split intoupperandlowerroutes.Oursurvey was675meters,andtheday'stotalwasawelcome2221 meters. We all dragged back intocamptiredandelated. Agonkdaywasdeclaredon10 Marchbyunanimousdecision. We ate, partied,andplayed cards,andScottandI evendidonesurveyshottocomplete the Easy MeterstoForking Borehole loop. As things worked out,11March wouldbeourfinalpushday,andweplannedtogive it allwehad.OurfourteamsfilteredoutofcampanddowntheStandard Bore hole Unit. Cyndie, Scott,andI shot pho tos,thenmappedintheScud Passage belowtheGrandmotherBorehole. We connectedwithJack, Dave,andPaul,whosedownwardlead offtheGrandmotherhadendedinseveralsumpypits.MyteamwentbacktotheMotherofAll Boreholesareaand.mappedtwojug handles,PlanktownandObewonKe nobe. Jack'sreturningteampassedusandtackled ahighleadoverthebegin ningoftheDeath Coral Borehole. The RoadtoNowheredidn'tgofar,butit was a nice large passage. ScottandIwerestill primed, soweleftCyndiein the Death Coral Boreholeandfollowedthefoot printsofRay' steamuptheclimb thathadstoppedthemthedaybefore. Onceupthe tricky climb,wefollowed their sta tionsthrougha complicated formation passage.Thenitopenedupinto a bigdescendingpassage,theUnexpected Borehole. While this passagehadtheusualdeepsilt coveringthefloor, occa sional clean flakes spalled offtheceiling indicatedthatithadn'tflooded in a long while. Finallywemadevoice contactwithRay, Val,andSolo,totheir amaze ment. ScottandI set offdownthesteepbreakdownslopetoleapfrogthemforanhourorso, climbingupinto awestwardin feeder borehole.WewentlOO meters to a lasso upelirnb,thenbeganoursurvey back,namingthis remote place Farpoint Station.Myteam'stotalwas433 meters, Ray'swas532 meters,andJack'swas261meters.Ittookusthreehourstoget backtocampfrom Farpoint,makingit a 17.5hourtrip. WefoundthatPeter, Steve, Dale,andJJwere still out,andtheydidn'tdraginuntilseveralhourslater.Theyhadmappedanamazing1294 meters in neverendingboreholes. Firsttheyhadtopen etrate agrimGO-meterbreakdownpile,butthentheypoppedoutinto a four-way borehole intersection,knownasMud land. Peter checked a northeast boreholetosee if itwouldcomeoutona balconythey'dseenabovethebreakdownmaze,butitdidn'tlook like it would. Another northeast boreholewasleft unexplored. The thirdwaywasasteepmudslope thattheymappedfor 100 meterstothetop,whereit continuedasawestwardwalkinglead. Buttheychosetofollow the39

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19main south lead, the Wellie Way. After only70meters, another borehole lead was seen going off. The Wellie Waywasrelentless 25-meter-wide borehole, zoom ing south for 1000 meters between ever present mudbanks. Another southwest borehole lead was passed along the way,andthey quit where the Wellie Way split. To the left wasaninfeeder coming from a 6-meter bolting lead. To the right, the mainwayappeared to continuedownward at a steep angle. Theyhadmappedmore in adaythananyPEP team everhadbefore, knockingourday'stotalupto 2520 meters. Tecolote's calculated lengthnowstood at 28,119 meters,andthedepthhadincreased 150 meters to408meters.On12Marchwerestedandbegan packingourduffels. Steve, Dale,andPe ter left for the surface at midnight,outofsync with the restofus. The nextdaythe rest of us gotupearly for the final pack ing. I wasinthe lastgroupwith Cyndie,Scott,Val,andSolo,trudgingsteadilyonthroughCampI.We spreadoutin the rope series,andourtripsoutof the cave averaged about thirteen hours long. With the nextday'sderig, the1991Tecolote expeditiondrewto a close. With7323metersmapped,itwasourmost successful ever,andourleads for the next expeditionareexcellent. Astudyof themapshowsthatwe'veadvanced one third of the distance toward the presumed resurgence,andtwothirdsofthe depth.Itisnownearlyaneight-kilometer trip to the back of the cave,andthenext effort willbepushing the limits in more ways than one. The PEP wishestothankOregonFreeze-dry Inc. for assistancetotheTecolote expeditions.40The You-Us Junction, looking east toward Paul's Plunge.PeterSprouse.CuevadelTecolote 1990y1991LaCueva del Tecolote se encuentraenla zona carsticadePurificaci6n alnorestedeCd. Victoria. Enambosanoscampamentos subtemineos se realizaronparala exploraci6n deesta extensa cavema. En1990,seisespele61ogos topografiaron 3136 metros, la mayor parte fue pasaje amplio. En1991trece espele61ogosdeInglaterra, Canada, y EEUU acamparonenunlugar mas profundodelas caverna,mapeandosiete kilometrosdepasajes virgenes, incluyendo2520metrosenel ultimo diadeexploraci6n. La Cueva del Tecolote tiene ahoraunalongitudde28,119metros yunaprofundidadde408metros. Muchos pasajes principales se encuentran todavia sin explorar.

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19EXPLORATIONINTHE SIERRA JUAREZ,OAXACA:CUEVA CHEVE1991-92Louise D.Hosef1f1he1991efforts in the Sierra Juarez II began with a winter expedition con sistingofPaul Burger and Louise Hose from Colorado, Don Coons from Illinois,BillFarr, Herb Laeger, SusanandDon Morris, Matt Oliphant,andCarol Vesely from California, John Ganter fromNewMexico,andEd Sevcik from Texas. We intended to visit the area of the resur gence for the water inCuevaCheve,butwewere never allowed near the caves,andthe team divided into three groups, thosewhorouted earlyonlytohave truck problems destroy theirhopesof caving elsewhere, thosewhospent the entire time driving from one official to another trying to clearupthe problems,andthose who split their time between sittingoutoutrageous rainstorms in leaky ten tsandbeingdevouredbybiting flies while try ing todrytheir equipment in the low lands. The projecthadfive meetings with the presidente of Santa Ana Cuauhtemocduringa period of a week and a half. Someofusmadethree tripstoTeotitlanandone trip to Oaxaca inanattempt to clearupthe problem. A representative from the governor's office accompanied us twice. But each meetingendedwith a request for yet another letterofpermis sion from some state agency in Oaxaca. Weendedthe expedition without havingdoneanysignificant caving. After everyone else left, VeselyandFarrdroveupto theupperkarstandconnected Cueva Escondida into the sys tem, making it the deepest cave in theNewWorld.Thedepthwas 1369 meters.lTnmymind,CuevaCheveisthedeepestJLknown cave in the world. A visually positivedyetraceofthe water in the system demonstrated that the hydrologic system is more than2600meters in verti cal extent. (SeeJimSmith'sartic1einAMCSActivities Newsletter18.)True, cavers have physically penetrated only a littleoverhalf oftherelief,butMountEverestwasthe highestmountainbefore climbers scaled it,andsome cavers thinkthatCueva Cheve is the deepest cave. Every one will agree that its exploreddepthmakes it the deepest cave in the Western Hemisphere. Naturally, its exploration is a pretty big deal. The plan in the spring of1991wasto dive in the deepestsumpin Cheve. Thedreamwas to have John Schweyen, America'spremiersumpdiver, pioneer a path through thesumpintodrypassage. Then othercaver-divers were prepared to follow. Thehopewasthat they could find adrywayback to the known cave, so explorationofdrypas sage could continue beyond the sump. Failing that, there were also leads in the air-filled parts of the cave. Peter Basted, Dan Clardy,BillFarr,andBillStorage of California,Jim Brownand John Schweyen ofNewJersey, Don Coons of Illinois, Mike Frazier, Louise Hose,andTodd Warren of Colorado, Peter HaberlandandSnakeOwenfromNewYork, Matt Oliphant from Minnesota, Tina Shirk and Chris Yeager from Indiana, Jim Smith from Kentucky, Ralph SnedleyandBill,Brian, Janet,andAudrey Steele from Texas, John Stembel from Georgia,andBillStone from Maryland were the par ticipants in the expedition. Twelve cavers arrived at the Llano Cheve, the surface base camp,duringthe first week. Most worked hard topreparefor the dive,anditwentoff sooner than expected. The depressing news, how ever,wasthat thesumpbecame more complex, tighter, and deeper thanwehadhoped. The dream of a simplebopthrough thesumpinto air-filled passagewasshattered. Schweyen was demoral ized. Even more,hewas cold from his decompression stops. The next attempt would require a dry-suit and multiple bottles, all this more than 1225 meters below the lowest entranceandsome thing like eight kilometers into the cave. But there weretwopleasant results from thatdeepcamp. The divehadmadethe cave 17 meters deeper, to -1386,andOliphanthadclimbed intoanencourag ing lead a shortwayupstreamfrom the sump.Thecavehadnot defeated the cavers, ithadonlydelayed their efforts.Thedeepteamdidnotknowaboutthetragedyoccurring elsewhere in the cave at the exact time that Schweyen was diVinginthesump.ThedeepteamleftCampIII forthesurfacethedayafter the dive. WhentheyreachedCampII,were they intendedtosleep for a night, they foundthenote. Yeagerwasdead.They would find hisbodyatthebaseofthe23Meter Drop, a shortwayfromCampII.Chris Yeagerwasayoungmanof twenty-five from Indianawhohadbeencavingonlyacoupleofyears.Hechose to join apartyheadingintoearnpatthebottomofthecaveforhisfirst trip.Hewaspartof apartyoffour, but, as is common in Cheve,theytraveledinpairs. Peter BostedandJimBrownmovedahead.Haberlandaccompanied Yeager.TheirobjectiveforthefirstdaywasCampII.Along thewaythere are thirty-two rope pitches,manywithrebelaysandredirections. Therearealsoabouta kilo meterofriver passageandseveral tra verse lines. Yeagerhandledit all well until he reached the23Meter Drop,4.5kilometers into the cave, 850 meters deep,andonl ytwodropsfrom camp. There hemadea fatal mistake. There isabouta kilometerofwalking passage just beforethe23Meter Drop. Yeagerwasusing a steel triangular screw linkonhis harness,andhis rappel rack was attachedtothelinkwitha single locking carabiner.Itis suspectedthatthe lockonthe carabinerworkedloose dur ing the longwalkbetween drops. Althoughhesuccessfully rappelleddownthepredominantlyslopingupperpart of the next drop,whenheleaned back into rappelona free section justpasta rebelay, his rackcameoutofthe carabiner. Yeager fell about23meterstohis death, his rack stillontheropeabove. Haberland ran41

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19over immediately,butthere were no signs of life. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, ultimately attemptedbyall three team members,didnothing. After a night's sleep, Bosted, Haberland,andBrown climbed backoutofthe cave. The dive team followed adaybehind them. Yeager's fatheranduncle, a family friend,andtwoInd iana cavers joined the camp in the llano. With time, the family came to accept the decision foranin-eave burial. Elevendaysafter the accident, Chris Yeager was buried in sand in the large walking passage above where he fell. A tombstonewaserected,andcar bide soot identified the grave's occupant. Momentos from his familyanda project tee-shirt were buried with him. In accor dance with the family's wishes, passages were read from the Bible. Needlesstosay,moralewaslowamong the project members after the burial. Chris's familyandfriends left the llanoonMarch 15. Thecavewasderigged,anddeepexploration was suspended for the year, honoring a promise to the fam ily.Most of theteamlefttwodayslater.HaberlandandOliphantstayed. Coons returned from Oaxaca City, ac companiedbythe Steelesandtheir en tourageoffamilyandarchaeologists. Frazier, Hose,andWarren spenttwodays checking leads in the high karstandadaysurveyingintheupperpart of Cheve. After CoonsandOliphant felt sufficiently recovered,weventuredover to Santa Ana. ThreeofuswereveteransoftheNewYear's trip; FrazierandWar ren were new.Ourstrategywasnot to ask permission to visit the resurgenceof42this trip,butjust to develop better rela tions with the folks. We wantedtolet themknowthatwewerenot going to just go away. Wedroveawaytwodayslater feeling good aboutourefforts. This time, no onethrewstones,noone cursed us,andweslept in town fortwonights. We bought mealsandCokes locally,mappeda small cave, sampled the local cana, helped carry rocks for anewwater tank,andhiked around.Wedonotknowifwewill receive permission next time,butwedoknowthatwecan safely enter thetownagain. The Mexican archaeologists arrived soon afterourreturn.Coons, Hose, Oliphant, and part of the Steele entou rage spent mostofthreedayshelping with their projects in the area. It was truly a special experience. Finally,wefinished derigging the cave, stashed thegroupgear that was left,andpretty much closed the camp.OnMarch29,the last Ameri cans left Llano Cheve.Ulf))oorMatt-howdoyouplan foranrexpedition likethis?:'lamentedMark Minton in the closing line of a letter sentonJanuary29,1992. Matt was Matt Oliphant, expedition coordinator for the 1992 expedition to Cueva Cheve. Project membershadmet the previoussummerto decideonthe dates for the next expedi tionandtooutlinetheobjectives. The dates were set for February15toMarchlS,andthe main objectives were geologic investigation of thedeeppart of the sys tem, continued pushing of leads in the terminalbreakdown,explorationofthehigh karst-fieldsandcaves,andimprovingrelationswiththepeopleinthearea.Throughno fault of Matt's,thepre-expeditionatmospherewasfilled with confusionanduncertainty.Ourwell laid plansandcommitments to sponsors, granting agencies,andemployershadbeenthrownintoturmoilonlytwomonthsbefore leaving. Asoftheendof January, most felt that it was unlikely that wewouldbeabletomeet most ofourobjectives. Itwaseven doubtful thatwewouldbeable toenterCuevaCheveatall. Manycaverswerejumping ship. Even worse, Mark's letter describedhowone keymemberwasdaily changing his de cisionwhetherto go,andanotherrefused to commit to the project,butwas hinting at a mid-expedition arrival any way. Indeed,howtoyouplan for an expedition like this? When lifehandsyoua lemon, make lemonade. Itwasanamazingblend of confidence, competence, persistence, and flexibilitybyeveryoneinvolvedthatbroughta terrific team together at the base of the Sierra JuarezonFebruary16,1992. Ultimately,theteam consisted of Stan Allison fromSouthDakota, Manuel Aragon from Oaxaca, Peter Bosted, Dan Clardy, Lisa DeThomas, Matt Oliphant, Nancy Pistole,andBillStorage from Cali fornia, Don Coons from illinois, Mike FrazierandLouiseHosefrom Colorado, PeterHaberland,Karlin Meyers,andChris Welsh fromNewYork, RomanHapkaandPascal Schenker from Swit zerland,andTomMiller from Arizona. Unfortunately, therehadbeen some road blocks constructedtoourworksinceourlast visit,aspredicted. The secretary of the jurisdiction including the Cheve areahadtoldtheadvancepartythat he did notthinkwewouldbeallowed in the cave without a special permit from thefederalgovernment.Someonefrom Mexico Cityhadmadethis point with the presidente,thechief local official of the area, a fewdaysearlier. As the presidente wasoutof town,thesecretary apolo gizedtous,buthewouldonlyallow us to establishourcampnearthe entrance. Wewerenot toenterthecave. CoonsandAragondroveoff to deal with the permit,andthe restofthe team workedonback packingoursu pplies and establishingourhomeinLlano Cheve, themountainmeadowatthe entrance toCuevaCheve. Anxious to make the bestofthedelay, Storage, Allison, Hose, and Millerdrovetothe"middlekarst" tohuntfor cavesoverthe middle part of the system, beyondtheterminal sump. We stayed with an interesting local family.LookingdowntowardZautIa.Louise Hose.

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19Our host, Pedro,wasa Mazatec Indian, white-waterkayaker,andPADI-eertified scuba diverwhohadstudiedEnglishatCambridge. Hehadalso traveledtoPeru, Ecuador, Guatemala,andSpain. His wifeisa Cuicatec,thedominantcultureofthemountains. Their hospitalitywasover whelming. Pedro arranged forustovisit local cavesandpitsduringourday-anda-half visit. Althoughwedidnot findanypotential connections tothesystem, the locals were very supportive,andthere will undoubtedly be more trips to the area.Bythe timewereturnedtothe llano, the presidentehadalso returned,andhehad given permission togooninto the cave. Thus, caving in CuevaCheve began on the twentieth,whenStorageandHose started riggingandhauling supplies. Others would carryontheriggingduring the following days.Various problems caused Oliphanttodecide that therewouldonly beonedeepcampthis year,insteadoftheplanned two.Itwould leave in a week. This left some time tofill.Storagewasintriguedbya promising karst area about thirteen kilometers eastofLlano Cheve. Coons had walked through the area three years before,buthefound the people unwillingtotalk about caves without permission fromthestate. The projecthadlettersofpermission. Storage wanted to keep the firstpartysmall, preferablyonlytwopeople.Herecruited Hose to join him, since sheownedthe only four by-four vehicle available. A caver with a four-wheel-drive is never without friends.Wedrovetotheendof the road, where the folks in the villageofPena Verde greeted us warmly. Cuicatecs, like the people near Cheve, they wereawareofourwork, aswehave developed averyPascal Schenker's Meditation Place.RomanHapka.favorablereputationamongtheCui catecs. They seemed disturbed, however, to learn thatourobjectivewasthe village of Zautla."Hmm.Theyare Chinantecs,"wewere told. "Theyaredifferent. Youmayfind it difficulttodealwith them." We worriedaboutthepotential prob lems,butresolved to continueandheadeddownthe trail. With topo maps,wehadcalculatedthattheround-triphikewasroughly equivalenttocrossingtheGrandCan yon. However,thetrailprovedtobethe most illogicalpathwehadeverseen, goingupanddownfornoapparentrea son. Themaphadnotrevealed itstruecharacter. Wereweonthewrongtrail? Passing locals reassuredusthatwewereheaded for Zautla. After abouttwohours,wearrivedatthetownofTecomal tianguisco, also a Cuicatec village. The peoplewerefriendlyandcurious,andtheyallowedustostay in the school for the night. As before, concernwasex pressedaboutourinterestinZautla. ''Theyareveryprimitive. Thewomenarenot allowedoutoftheir houses. Theymaynot giveyoua placetosleep. Theydonot evenspeakgoodSpanish." The lastwarningfellondeafears.OurSpan ishwasnotgoodenoughto identifybadSpanish. Asweleft inthemorning, the school teacher insistedongivingusasupplyoftacos. "They will not allowyoutobuyfood. Youmusttake this food with you." Afterabouttwomorehours,ween tered Zautla. The peoplewepasseddidnot seem hostile,buteach said the same thing, "Buenos dfas," followed by, "YoumustgoseeAgente,"thevillage leader. We decidedtodirectly seektheagente,butweweretoldthathewasin thecomfields. His secretary storedourpacksandgave us permissiontohike,butwewerewarnedto stayawayfrom pitsandcaves. The ZautlaareaismuchwetterthantheCheveareaandeasily recognizable as tropical. We hiked three kilometers north oftownandclimbed sixhundredmeterstovisit a large dolinethatisprominentonthe topographic map. Wewerenot dis appointed; itwasspectacular. Weweretempted to leavethetrailandlook for entrances,butourlong-term goals pre vailed,andweresistedthetemptation to check pitsandpotential leads. Instead,wereturnedtotownbythe timewehadpromised. For allthehypefrom the Cuicatecs43

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19I.150.170'60 ,so'20DrawnbyPeterBostedLength:525 mDepth: mjjj-.-7,xccan-OS' ./YtOOl"I'nJk::J..] ENTRANCE(PUNVlEW)SurveyedMarch, 1992usingSuuntoComcass.Suunto Inclinometer,andfiberglasstape by StanAllisonPeter Sos19d DanClardyLisa DeThomasNancyPis10leCUEVA PALOMITASOAXACA, MEXICO[j""'"Qbre.kdown:::cabbie.flowstone-....;;.:"'.--_.---?1015::025METERSPLAN EAST-WEST PROFILEl@lpool1.\alope===mud.......ledge!IIdrophei;h1(melera)CoopY'lght199'2P.8o.-d44

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBERhabout the primitive Chinantecs,wewereamused to find ayoungZautlamansport ing bleached haircutin a fashionable layered style.Hehadcutsquareholes in his jeans,andheworea heavy-metal tee shirt.Yet,like alloftheresidentsofZautla, he spoke Chinantec exclusively, except in conversationwithus,whenhe spoke Spanish. Basketball is verypopularin Zautla,andseveral men woregymshortsandtenniesduringthelate-afternoon games.HeedingthewarningsfromourCuicatec friendsaboutZautla' s sexism, it wasBillwhonegotiated with the agente.Heimmediately likedourletters of per mission. Yes,wecould visit the caves in the morning.Hewould send the police force along toshowusthe caves. Was there a place wherewecould sleep? "Sure, here in the municipal building," was his answer. "I willprovideguards."We speculatedaboutwhethertheguardswere to protectusfrom the localsorthe locals from us.Itwasnevermadeclear. At6:30AM,theguardsturnedonthe lights. A hint? We were soonupandgoing.Abouteight men,the"police force," ledusabout 350 metersdowninto a canyon.Ourfirst ca vewasa resurgence entrance with a flow of about 3or4 cubic feet per second. They called it Niay Mahn. Wading in knee-deep water,weleft the guides. Beyond the twilight zone, the passagewasfilled withbatsin flight,andthe cavesumpedafter about100meters. A little later,ourguides tookustowhatappearedtobean upstream extension. Ultimately,theyshowedusfour small cavesandhelpedusexplore three of them. We foundthepeople of Zautla to be extremely friendlyandgenerous. They shared their food, including a plant they were collectingandeating that resembled,orperhapswas, bamboo shoots. We re turned to town for siesta. In the late after noon, about fifteen menandboys showed us pits within the town. Several of the pits were clearly outhouses,andwedeclined to descend them. Wehopedto visit the deep pits abovetownthat they toldusabout,buttherewasnotenoughtime. The agenteandothersmadeit clear tousin the evening that theywouldlike us to stay one moredayandvisit the pits. It was tempting,butwehadpromised the folks back at Cheve thatwewouldbehomeonthe next day,andwefearedthata rescuepartymight come ifwewere adaylate.Ournew friends toldusthatwewill be welcomed again,andonemanadded, "God willing,youwill return here next year." Weweredelighted asweloadedourpacksandhit the trail.Allison, Bosted, Hapka, Hose, Meyers, Miller, Oliphant,andSchenker en tered Cueva Cheveonthe twenty-fifth, traveling toCampII,whereweateandslept fortheevening.Ourhike through this amazing cave continued the next day. After most caving trips, one vividly remembers the obstacles. OfCheve, how ever, I vividly remember the only three placesduringthe entire trip where the floor is smooth for more than five meters. Elsewhere, one is constantly clambering over breakdown, climbing rope, descend ing rope, traversing rope, chimneying,orpassing some other kind of obstacle.Ourtravel was uneventful. After arriving inCampIII,most ofusstumbled into bed, while the Swiss, Karlin, and Stan headedouttoexamine the terminalbreakdownpile.Onthe twenty-seventh, the Swiss left the cave, while most of us headed for the breakdown. Bosted and Hose chose tomapa side loopandworkonits leads. The othersdidsome serious poking in the main part of the breakdown. There was no success, however, and all six cavers remaining inCampIIIworkedonthebreakdownthe next day. Several survey lines wereruninto the mess, inaneffort to better define it. We squeezed, we ham mered,wetried to coax the rock away. The wind teased acrossourfaces,butnoopenpassage was found. The breakdown had proven frustrat ing,andit was time todosomething else. There had been some spokenandwritten speculation about the geologyattheendof the cave,buttherewasvirtuallynohard data. Hose was collectingdataeach day,butthis work needed bedrock, not breakdown. Itmadea good excuse to visit Wet Dreams, the deepest passage in the explored system. Allison, Hose,andMiller headed for the terminalsump,while MeyersandOliphant worked theirwayupMatt's high climb from the previousyear. Wet Dreams is a visuallyandgeologically spectacular passage, caving at its finest. Afterourvisit to the sump, StanandTom headed back to camp,andHose moved more slowly, collecting data. Matt's Leadhadnot gone, andourallot ted time inCampIIIhad ended. We packedupandheadedoutonthe thirti eth.Thereturnedouttobea seconddeepcampafter all. Frazier, Haberland,andPistole left forCampIIon March6.Allison, Clardy,andHose packed lighter duffs this time and headed into the caveonthe seventh, joining the others inCampII.The firstgrouphadbeen occupying their timebycleaningandimproving thecampandchecking leads in theSumplands area above the23Meter Drop. Theywerereadyandanxioustomoveon. Hosewantedtomapthe geology in the middlepartofthe cave,andAllison vol unteeredtostayandhelp. All of usheadednorththroughthe Low-Rider Turnpike. Atthestartofthe Swim Gym, Clardy, Frazier, Haberland,andPistole continuedtowardCampIII,andHose started "geologizing"onthe way south. Allison unrelentingly checked leads. In one particularly in teresting area,wesplitupfor nearlyanhour. Whenwereuni ted, Stan toldmethatthepassage hehadexploredwasa boreholeandbeauti ful. We agreed tosurveyit.Ittrendedparallel to the Low-Rider Turnpikeandextended206meters along a fault. The floorwasentirelybreakdown,butmuch of itwascoveredbychocolate-colored flowstone with large, glittering crystal faces. Wenamedthepassage Hollywood Boulevard, forUsglitter. AllisonandHose left the caveonthe ninth.BostedandClardyhaddiscovered a cave closetotheCheveentrance,whichtheynamedCuevadelasPalomitas. Explorationofthenewcave was continuedthis yearbythem, Allison, DeThomas,andFrazier. The cave was surveyedasexploration progressed,andtotalsurveyreached 540 meters.Onthe last trip, AllisonandClardyrigged a pit about 100 meters deep, descended it,andfound going passageatthe bottom. Theywerenotpreparedtosurveythepitorto continue exploration,andhence theyturnedaroundwiththepassage still go ing. Bosted, Coons,andDeThomashadleft for themiddlekarst at the startofthe seconddeepcamp. Everyone isnowhop ing for another entrance into the system beyond the terminalbreakdownandthe Wet Dreamssump.Thelogical areatolook forsucha cave isnearthetownof San Miguel Santa Flor.Thethree found the local Cuicatecstobefriendlyandsupportive.Oneofthelocalmenunder stood their desire for a cave with wind,andhe tookthemto a placewherea small stream sinksandsteam rises from thegroundoncold days. Coonswaspessi mistic,butBostedandDeThomasdugright in. In a short time,theywere in a cave with a strong breeze.Thecavewastight,butthe breezedrewthemfarther into the passage. After their reconnais sance trip, Bostedhadto return to the States. CoonsandDeThomas returned tothellano to recruit help.45

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19Meanwhile, solitude in the llanowasbrokenwhenFrazier arrived backatthe llano fromCampIII. Pistolewasnot far behind. They, too,hada successful trip to the bottom of the cave. Much of their attentionwasgiven to cleaningupCampIII,maintaining the latrine,andmaking an inventoryofthe equipment there. Itwasneededandappreciated work. They also salvaged some survey notes thathadbeen inadvertently leftbythe earlier trip. More attempts weremadein thefrustrat ing breakdown pile,and,of course, a trip wasmadetotheWet Dreams sump.Itwasnews from thistripthat sparked a hope in everyone. Frazier estimatesthathe climbed about 100 metersupfrom one point in Wet Dreams.Hereported walk ing passageatthetopof the climb,buthe did notpursueit, ashewasalone.Besides, the lead will beanenticing carrot to bring cavers back to this important area of the cave.Allison,Coons,DeThomas,andOliphant returned thenextdayfrom their trip back to the middle karst. CuevadeRancho Palomorahadbeen pushedandmappedfor 307 meters, where progress was stoppedbya flowstone choke.Itwas a disappointing set-back. The expeditionwounddownafter ClardyandHaberland safely returned to the surfaceonthethirteenth. Theyhadpokedinthe terminal breakdownduringtheir extradayinCampIII,butwith, again,nosuccess.We metourfour stated goals fortheproject,despiteunfortunateobstacles. We have a much better under standingofthe geology of the system, finallyhavingdatatoprovideinterpre tations. Wespentagreatdealoftimepushingleadsin the terminal breakdown.Severalnewcavesabovethesystemwereexplored,andexcellent rela tionswereestablishedwithfournewvillages. Therewaseven a brief public relations visittothevillage controlling the resurgence area,butAraganandOliphantweretold"thepresidenteis not here." These successesareatributetothemembers oftheexpedition.Theyall contributedandkepttheirfocusonourobjectives. The expedition's success is also a tributetoMatt OliphantandNancy Pistole,whonever wavered in their dedicationtothe projectandto the expedition. Whentheusual,andunusual, problems confronted them, they always found awayto resolve the concerns. They are probably theonlyproject memberswhosetotalcommitmenttothis year's expeditionwasnever in doubt from the meeting last July in Cobleskillthoughthe middleofthis March. Their steadfastness allowedtherest of us to anchorourplans.Thesponsorsofthisyear'sexpeditionwerealsokeyelementsofoursuc cess.TheyweretheRichmondArea Speleological Society,theNationalSpe leological Society's International Explo rationFund,theDogwoodCityGrotto, PigeonMountainIndustries,andBobandBob.CuevaCheveis aremarkablecaveandhastorankamongtheworld'smostoutstanding.Itsexploredportionsnowextend1386metersdeepand22.5 kilometers long.Exploracionesdela SierradeJuarez, OaxacaLaexpediciondelProyecto Cheve, el cualsellamoProyectoPapalo,continuolaexploraciondelaCueveCheveysusalededores.Enelinviernode1991 seintentovisitarunaresurgencia, sinembargoelpresidentemunicipaldelpobladodeSantaAnaChiquihuitlanlesdetuvo.Noobstanteseconect6 laCuevaEscondidaconElSistemaChevehaciendolaasf 1369metrosdeprofundidadycontinuandoasfcomolamasprofundaenlasAmericas.Enlaprimaverade1991 se buce6unsHonqueseescuentraa 1225metrosdeprofundidadyaunadistanciade8 kilometrosdesdelaentrada,ganando17metrosmasa laprofundidaddel sistema.Tambiensehicieronintentosparapasarelderrumbefinal sinbuenosresultados.Tragicamenteel espele61ogo Chris Yeagertuvounacaida fatalde23metrosaldesprendersedesudescensortipomarimba.Posterior a estonosehizoexploraci6nalguna,exceptuandoelestudioarqueo16gicodelaentradadelcualseconcluyo.Laexpediciondelaprimaverade1992tambienfall6 alnoencontrarpasajealgunodelderrumbefinal,sinembargoseencontrootropasajeprometedor.Serealizounaexploracion meticulosaenlasuperficiesobreelareadeelpobladodeZautlala cualseencuentraa trecekil6metrosalestedeCheve. LaCuevadelasPalomitasse topografi6por540metroshastaauntirode100 metros.Tambienasf laCuevadelRanchodePalomorafuetopografiadaporunadistanciade307 metros.46

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19Proyecto Montemayor, March 1992JoeIvyFriday, March 13, 1992,sawmostofthegroupleaving for Minas ViejasinNuevo Leon, while JoeIvy,Linda Palit,andDanHogenauerremained behind to continue preparations. Joe, Linda,andDan left San Antonio Saturday morning. They crossedtheborderatthenewbridgeatColombiaandfound the cross ing quick and uneventful. Page Calloway, Catherine Berkeley,andSusanHerpinwere to arriveSaturdaynight. Those alreadyat MinaswereRob Bisset, Cathy Chauvin, Libby Overholt, Steve Young,andPeter Mills. Anothergroupthat camedownfrom AustinandSan Marcos, Texas,andarrivedonSaturdayincluded Karl Kieffer, Tim Stich, Mo Tangestani, Clarke Price,and Troy Freeman. Page,Catherine,andSusan arrived lateSaturdaynight, campedata lowercampthan the rest of the group,andjoined the othersonSun day. Pagehadbroughtthe"sumppump"supplies for the Rebirth Canal, a peren nialsumpat440metersdepthin PozodeMontemayor [see article inAMCSActivi ties Newsletter18]that has foiled anumberof attempts to reach the bottomofthe cave in the past. When Page arrived, asump-pumpteam, Tim Stich, JoeIvy,andPeter Mills,departedfor the Rebirth Canal ataboutnoon. Montemayorhadbeen riggedbyagroupof cavers from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, the previous weekend, so riggingwasnot a problem.Onthewaydown,however, Joe decided todosome rerigging. Once atthesump, Joe, Peter, and Tim beganpumpingthe wateroutofthesumpintoa pool that was about3.5meters higherthanthesumpandabout10meters upstream, using a bilgepumpanda length of 4-eentimeter diameter hose. After only fifty minutes, thesumpwas emptied completely. The trio left the cave at4:00AM.The next day,Mondaythesixteenth, Peter Mills led agroupinto Montemayor to begin photographing theuppersec tionofthe cave. Theydidnot enter the cave until evening.OnTuesday, Joe, Linda, Rob, Catherine,andDanpreparedtoenterMontemayor tocampjust before the Re birth Canal. Thegroupentered the cave beginning at about noon. Joedidsome more rerigging as he went down,andRob set a Petzl Long-life stainless-steel bolt at the top of theMuddyWhoredroptoaugmentthe existing bolts. Thecampwas established, and thegroupturned in for the night.Itis worth noting that noneofthecamp-erew members had ever par ticipated inanundergroundcampbe fore. The same day, Mo formed a survey crew with PageandCathy and began a resurvey at the top of theBigPit, the 115 meterdropthat is part of the "historic section" of the cave. Also, later that day, Peter, Susan,andJohn entered to take more photos. All of these folks eventu ally found theirwaydownto the campat-440meters. Mo's survey crew decided to sleep for a few hours before leaving,andPeter'sgroupheaded right out.OnWednesday, thecampcrewgotorganizedandheaded into the Canyon Passage, beyond the Rebirth Canal, in tending to bottom the cave anddoa bolt climbandsome resurvey in the Bottom Borehole. Mo's survey crew decided to tag along, since none of themhadseen the bottom of the cave. Unfortunately, thecampcrew was unable to locate the next two drops, which lead to the Bottom Borehole. Instead, a substantialamountof time was spent looking about. Page found a virgin upper-level passage that led to a pit, and Rob located a lower-level pit that clearly captures the water coming through the Canyon Passage. RobandJoe checked the pit, with Joe acting as the rig pointandRobdroppingthe pit. The pit was tight in placesandendedata poolanda very tiny pinch that the water flows through. The pit was about 8 meters deep. The restofthegroupwere still looking around. After thegroupreassembled, at the top of Page's Pit, Joe placed two bolts at the top of this drop, as there were no natural rig points. Page descended the pitona27-meter rope. Theropejust reached a ledge,wherePagewasable to get off rope,andRob joinedhimthere. Page could seethatthe pit continueddownforanother30 meterstoamudfloored borehole, probably the Bottom Borehole, whichwouldmakethepit an alternaterouteto the bottomofthe cave. This will aid infutureexploration,because this alternate route ismuchquickerandeasierthantheotherknownroute.Atthispoint,thecrewbrokeupsome what,andJoe, Rob, Linda,andCathy remained behindtorecharge carbideandeat. Robwanderedoff intoanadjacent dome, started climbingupthrough breakdown,andfoundthatthedomewenta considerable way.Hereturnedandtold the othersofhis find,andJoe, Linda,andCathy decided to see it, since Rob re ported that thereweresomenice forma tions. Rob stayedtorest,andthethree climbedupinto the dome. They missed Rob's routeandinstead climbed even furtheruponthebreakdowntodiscover a very large virgin room. Theroomwasabout100 meters longby20meterswideandhada ceiling heightof25meters. The roomwaswell decoratedandhadfairly freshbatguanoonthefloor inonearea. This led to its beingnamedthe Bat Hall. The bat roostindicatesthatthere is a lower entrance to the cave somewhere that is at leastbatsize. After Robhadbeenshownthe room, allfourofthem rejoined the restofthe crew,andeveryone headed back to camp. That evening, Page, Mo, Cathy,andCatherine leftthecave.OnThursday, Rob, Joe,andLinda returned to the Canyon,andDan stayed incamp. The objectivewasto derig Page's Pitandreach thebottombythe old route.Iftherewasenoughtime, the bolt climb wouldbeattempted. They found Page's Pit without incident, since the routehadbeen flagged the previous day,andthe pitwasderigged. Theythendescended in theCanyonandmanagedto locate thedropsinto the bottomofthe cave. Rob47

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19andJoe descended the 20-meter drop, while Linda remainedatthetopandwaited. Joeheadedforthelastdropandrappelled the40meters. Rob also de scended,andheremained at the bottomofthepittorestandeat, while Joe continuedtothedownstreamendoftheBottom Borehole. This passagehadbeen foundtoendinasump,andone of the objec tives of thetripwas to determine if thesumpwas permanent. Joe found thesumpandsaw that theunderwaterpassage leading off the final roomwasabout 1.5 meterswideand1 meter highandslopeddownward at about a 3O-degree angle for at least 1.8 meters. Thesumpis definitely permanent,anda dive with tanks will be required to explore it. Joe rejoined Rob,andthey headed out, derigging thetwobottomdropsastheydid. Linda, Joe,andRob returned to camp. Friday,Dan,Joe, Rob,andLinda packeduptheirgearandheaded for the surface. The 49-meter Disbeliever's Pit was negotiated,andthegroupmarchedonto the l06-meter Argo Well. Rob, Joe,andDan ascended without their packs,andLinda stayedonbottomtoputthe packsonthe ropetobehauled up.Happily, three Monterrey caversontheirwayinto the cavewereencountered at the top ofthe pit,andthey assisted in hauling the duffelsupthe Argo Well. Thecampcrew continuedondownthe 1 O-meterMuddyWhoreandreached the bottom of the 113-meter Big Pit. Here, a buffoonsumpoccurred, as there were more Monterrey cavers heading in. The Mexican cavers helped for a while,andoneduffwas hauledup,butdueto the fact that there was a rebelayonthe pit, which is not a free drop, the hauling idea was tempo rarily abandoned. The Mexicans continuedoninto the cave, and the camp crew regrouped at the top of theBigPit.Itwas decided that Rob and Dan would leave the caveandLindaandJoe wouldcampin the cave one more night. Rob was to return the nextdaywith reinforcements to help get the duffsoutof the cave. After Rob andDanleft, Joe rappelled backdowntheBigPitanddecided to carry hisduffto thetopof thedropinstead of spending the night at the bottom. The next morning, Saturday, Rob re turned with Cathy, Steve, Peter,and Page. Linda descended theBigPit andputthe remaining duffsonthe rope,andthe restofthegrouphauled them to the top. Once the duffs were up, their contents were divided among those present,andeach person headedoutwith a load. Everyone wasoutof the cavebyabout 4PM.Page, Catherine,andSusan left for Texas that afternoon,andthe rest of thegroupleft the following day. During the week,numerousdaytri pswentinto Montemayor for photography. Peter Mills led thephototrips and man aged tophotographeverything from the entrance to the Rebirth Canal. All in all, this tri pwassuccessful, eventhoughtheoriginal objectives remain largely undone. While the bolt climb in the Bottom Boreholewasnot done,newpassagewasdiscovered and new routeswerefound. Also, several peoplehadtheir first cave-eamping experience,andthis alone is of great value for future trips.Itis obvious thatthecanyon beyond the RebirthCanalwillrequireextensive checkinganda very careful resurvey. This will require acamptrip tobesuc cessful. The Rebirth Canal isnolonger a significant obstaclenowthatthepumpis permanently in place,andthe time re quired toemptyit is not prohibitive. The primary objective will remain the same for the next trip to Montemayor: topushthe bolt climb in thehopeof finding a lower entrance to the cave. Also, diving the terminalsumpisnowanewobjec tive,butthat can wait until anewen tranceis found, since hauling tanksdownto thesumpwouldbea remarkably strenuous task.Proyecto Montemayor, Marzo 1992EspeleologosdeTexasestablecieronuneampamentosubterraneoenelPozodeMontemayor,enel estadodeNuevo Leon.AnteriormentelacuevafuearmadaporespeleologosdeMonterrey.Sebombeofacilmente elaguadel Canal "Rebirth" el eual esta usualmente sifoneado, y el eual esunobstaeulo para asi visitar el finaldela eaverna. Pasages adicionales fueron eneontrados mas alla del sHon. Cathy Chauvin lights the formation wallinthe passageat-106 meters, 30 meters before Argo Well.JoeIvy.48

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19THE EXPLORATIONOFSOTANODE LUTEVIOAlanCresslerS6tanodeLuteviowasdiscoveredbyGerald MoniandJack Thomison whileona cave-huntingtripintheareaofXilitla, San LuisPOtOSI,aroundEaster1991(see also Mexico News). The cave is located northwest of PuertodeAmayo,onthe Ahuacatlan 1:50,000 topographic map.OnMarch5,GeraldandJackwereled to the cavebya local guide. They descended the 58-meter entrance drop. Atthebottom ofthedrop, anarrowcanyon continuedtothetopofa second pit with a very tight entrance. They noted strong air flowandplannedtoreturnona future trip. ThereturnpushbeganonNovember25,1991. Jeff Dilcher,AndrewPorter, B Stickney, Neeld Messler,Gary Burwasser, ShariLydy,MarionSmith,BethanyJablonsky,andAlan Cressler entered the cave. The entrancedropwasbolted near thetopfor a rebelay,andtherewasa second rebelaytoa formation nearthebottom. The canyon atthebottomofthepit containedtwo1.2-meter climbsdowntoa tight spot. A small canyon slopingdownwardled to a 3-meter climbdowntothetopofa6-meterpit.Thiswaswhere JackandGerald were stoppedonthe original trip. Thetopof the pitwasverytightandhadtobehammeredopen. Therewasa good rig point above the drop. A larger canyon passage continued from the bottom of thedroptoanother3meter climb, this onedowninto a larger room. From there, a 1.2-meter climb ledupinto a narrow canyon, which led to a 1.2-meter climb backdowntoa short crawlandaroomlargeenoughtositupin. A small canyon, another 1.2-meter climbdown,andmorenarrowcanyon led to astandingroom. From there, a tight rift 8 meters longwasfollowed tothetopofa 17-meter pit, whichwasriggedtooneboltandanaturalprojec tionasa backup. The 17-meterpitdropsinto a large room, from which adownward-slopingpassage, loweringtoa hands-and-knees crawltoa 1-meterdrop,ledtotwopits, 6and5 meters, separatedbya short slope. Wewereabletorigbothdropswithoneropetiedtoa large flakeandrebelayed to a natural projection above the lower drop. Therewasaroomatthebottom,anda high, fossil canyon continued down-slopeovertwo3-meter-deep holes inthefloortoa l.8-meter climbdownintoadustypassagethatcontinuedthedownwardslopeofthecave. A 2.1-meter climbGroupphoto,November1991trip totheXilitla area. Standing, left to right: B Daniel Stickney (Nashville, Tennessee;backto camera), Jeff Dilcher (Atlanta, Geogia),NeeldMessler(Denver, Colorado), Kris Green (Atlanta, Georgia), Viko Jones (San Luis Potosi,SLP,Mexico), Teresa Williams (San Luis Potosi, SLp, Mexico),RandyHeath(CollegeParkGeorgia), Gerald Moni (Antioch, Tennessee),GaryBurwasser (Tallahassee, Florida),AndrewPorter(Knoxville, Tennes see). Seated:AlanCressler (Atlanta, Georgia), Marion O. Smith (Knox ville, Tennessee), Bethany Jablonsky (Denver, Colorado), Roger Haley (Huntsville, Alabama), Shari Lydy (Birmingham, Alabama),PatSmith (Huntsville, Alabama). John Stembel (Atlanta, Georgia)notinpicture.AlanCressler.49

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19droppedinto a larger canyon, which un fortunatelyturnedintoan8-meter tight crawltothetopofanawkward4-meter pit. The rig-point for thisdropwasmar ginal. At its bottom, a 2.5-meterclimbupled to a small canyon thatwentto a sloping pit15meters deep. There were natural rig points for this,andone good redirection. This pitdroppedinto a large room with several leads. The higher leads were checkedanddidn'tgo. A small stream continued through thedrainin the bottomofthe room. A low crawl, slopingtoone side, continued 5 meters to a 3-meter climbdowninto a steeply slop ing, large passage, which led, viatwomore 3-meter climbs,tothetopofawet20-meter pit. Wewereoutof rope at this point, justasthe cavewasreally begin ning toopenup.Onthis trip, caverswerein the cave from sixtoten hours. The next day, the twenty-sixth, Porter, Stickney,Burwasser,Smith,Cressler,John Stembel,andKris Green entered the cave with asmuchropeastheycould carry. The wet 20-meter pitwasriggedtoone bolt, with a natural backup. At the bot tom, anarrowcanyon slopeddown8 meters to the top ofan18-meter pit. Rigged from one bolt, it ledtoa 6-meter-wide ledgetoa 25-meter pit. This pit was also rigged from a bolt,andthewetdropled into a large room. From there, the usual sloping canyonandrift, with a 3-meter climb-down, continued toan8-meter pit with a natural rig point. The passage continued past adomeareaandundera large pieceofbreakdown,down2-and3 meter climbs with a small hole connect ing them,anddowna 3-meter pit with a natural rig point. From there, the canyonwaswalking height,butitgotlower beforethetopofa 14-meterpit, the Dirt Drop, was reached.Onebolt was placed,andtherewasa natural backup. At the bottomofthis drop,werigged a 3-meter pit using a large rock that divided it intotwosides. A short canyonanda1 O-meter pit rigged from a formation took us into aroomwith a flowing stream.Aroundthecor nerwasa7 -meter pit, again rigged from a formation. At the top of this pit, John Stembelhada chert ledge break away,droppinghiminto the pit. Fortunately, hewasattachedtothe rope with his safety ascender. This pit was quickly fol lowedbya 24-meter pit, whichwasquite wet. There was a good natural rig point,anda good rebelay pointona major ledge 18 meters down. This pit led imme diately to another wet pit, thisone9 meters deep, with a natural rig point. At the bottom of that drop, thenatureofthecave changed. The passage became a narrow,butwalking stream canyon with numerous down-
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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19SPELEONAUTIC 88 CAVE DIVINGINMEXICOOliver KnabMexicowasoneofthemostimportantgoalsofourcave-divingtriparoundtheworld.Mymain interestwasto locate the springs alongourroutebetweenChihuahuaandMerida.Wedidovertwenty fivehundredkilometersonland,bybusandtrain, whichwasbyfarthemoststrenuousleg ofourtrip.OurpointofdeparturewasLos Ange les, California.WereachedChihuahuavia TijuanaandHermosillo. There,wecaughtthefamous Pacifico train, first to Creel, inthevicinityofCopperCanyon, sceneryworthseeingandpopulatedbythestubbornTarahumaraIndians,someofwhomstill live as cave dwellers.NearCreelwefound such a cave dwelling,CuevadeSebastian. The 20-by-20-meter cave room contains a kitchen, a sleeping place, a storeroom,andagoatpen.TheCuevasdeSanIgnacioareno longerusedas dwellings.Theyare10 kilometers southeast of Creel.Oneis 5 meters longand8 meters wide,andtheotheris 5 meters longand12 meters wide.Thegreatest sights intheareaarethegranite towersupto60meters high intheValley oftheMonks. After a successfultripback to the city ofChihuahua,weinspectedourfirst spring pool, near Jimenez,Chihuahua,a 31.4-meter-wide,51.76-meter-long spring basin in a desert landscape with mea sured visibilityof45 metersanda tem peratureof34degreese.Twosmall spring holes, amaximumof 2.45 meters deep, with sandboils arethemainwaterfeed ers. Bold little fish nibbleonone'sfeetandlegs, which can reallybeapainwhenoneis surveying. This spring, the OjodeDolores, flowsat165 literspersecond.InthevicinityofValledeAllende,weIn1988, Oliver Knabmadearoundthe-worldcave-divingjunket,andMexico was a majorpartofthetrip. These notesonsites visited in Mexicoarepartofa longer article originally publishedasvolume26(number78)ofHiihlenpost,newsletteroftheOstschweizerischen GesellschaftfurHohlenforschung sectionofthe Societe SuissedeSpeleologie. Translated fromGermanbyKatie Arens. locatedtheOjodeTalamantes. Aspringsituatedona mild rise feeds adammedupbasin that isusedas aswimmingpool in this remote valley. Turtleswereevident.Anotherbeautifulcanyonwithpoolsofwatercanbevisited nearby. A real surprise wastheCuevadel Diablo near Salaices,Chihuahua.The collapsed funnel is located in a conglom erate stratum. Afterwecrossed this zone, wesawfantastic solution-etched passagesdecoratedwithlarge formations.Nofewerthantenopenleadswerefound in a stretchof209meters. Adeepshaftwaspassed halfway through. Passage cross sections of 5by10meters suggest that a larger system exists below. The CuevadeRemedios is averyspe cial cave.Offall trailsina valley typicaloftheSierra Madre, this 19.28-meter-longwatercave contains a waterfall decorated with aragonite crystals that delivers wa terwithanestimatedtemperatureof 37degreese.Oneofthestrangest railroad trips in MexicorunsbetweenEscalonandCuatrocienegas, Coahuila, acrossthedesert-like Sierra Madre Oriental.Thetrainrunsso unusually slowly thatonehastospendthenight in no-man's-land,ElOro. Near Cuatrocienegas isthePozadela Becerra, a fantasticspringwithcrys tal-elear, brightbluewater. Threespringpoolshaveamaximumdepthof4meters,30 meters visibility,and32 to 34 C temperatures.ElChurince is a spring pool20meters indiameterand2 meters deep, with 10 meter visibility. The Lagunadela Mina is a similar shallow spring pool with a large surface area,butadepthof only 1 to 1.5 meters; visibility is 15 meters. A spectacularviewoftheLagunadela Mina is gotten from Mina del Capia, a 12-meter-longtubein limestone. Thesearelocated 16 kilome terssouthof Cuatrocienegas, Coahuila,neara chapel leftoftheroad. ManantialdeHermanasisanotherthermal spring in Coahuila. The tem perature is about that of a hot,butjust bearable bath,45to 50e.The OjodeAguadeLampazos,NuevoLeOn,wasflopnumberoneonthetripacross Mexico, a miserable black-waterpuddle.Maybeoneshouldvisititduringhighwater, becauseit'ssupposedto clearup.BustamanteinNuevoLeOn is familiartoAMCS cavers forhugecaveswithgiant formations,suchastheGrutadel Palmito. Becausetheauthordoesnotexperience positivemoodchangeswhenlookingatsuchinconsequentialities,though,heattemptedtooccupyhimself aquatically here,aswell. The ManantialdeSan Lorenzo ispartofa karstwatersystem,butisunimportantbecause it hasnoflow.TheCuevadelCaftonnearBustamantewasmapped;it is 18.69 meters long.NearSabinas Hidalgo,NuevoLeOn,three caves,CuevasdeSabinas Hidalgo I-ill,wereseenfromthebusinthecanyontowardsVillaldama.TheOjodeAguadeSabinasHidalgois a large karst-water resurgencethroughcobbles;thisspringfeedswatertoaswimmingpool.NearMonterrey,anabsolutely cata strophic industrial city,thereistheGrutasdeGarcia. Giantandwell decorated, thiscaveprobablymakestouristheartshappy.(Formationsareboring,notedible,andpresentintoomanycaves.)TheNacimientodelRioMante,Tamauli pas,hasconsiderably better char acteristics. This is,atpresent,thethirddeepestunderwatercaveintheworld. Sheck Exley reached 242 metersdeepin 1988. [SeeAMCS AdivitiesNewsletterl7. Exley reached -267meterstherein 1989.] This isconsideredtheworldrecord for cave diving.On24April 1988,thewatertemperaturewas26.9 C,andtheunderwatervisibilitywas35 meters.InNacimientodeRiachuelo, Tamau lipas,wesawawatersnake. The spring poolhadminimalflow,onlya few litersperminute,andwasheavilycloudedbyalgae,with2-meter visibility.TheNacimientodelRio Sabinas wasoneoftheprettiest placeswesawonourMexico trip.NorthwestofEl Encino,Tamaulipas,liesoneoftheprettiest vauclusianspringsin Central America.Theemerald-eoloredspringbasin, 15by30 meters, canonlybereached via adryriverbed.Thespringwasexplored in51

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19SALAICES CHIHUAHUAH01LE NICHTVOLLSTANOIGERKUNOET,10CfFENE FORTSETZLNGEN (1-X)reachedthefamouscomfield:onlythreehundredmeterstothefamous shaft. A littlehousestandsrightinfrontoftheSOby-SO-meteropening,andwecould alreadyhearthegreenparrotsthatcircle intneupperpartofthes6tano. Thirty meters farther,andwestoodatthebrinkofthepit, 330 metersoffreefall in frontofourfeet. Athirdofa kilometerdown,Isawtheoval green-blackbottomofthepit clearly. SOtanodelas Golondrinas was visited forthefirsttimebycavers in 1 %7.In1969, anarrowercontinuation ofthepitwasfound, leadingto-512 meters.Golondrinasisnolongerthelongest ver ticaldropintheworld. In 1972,theyfoundtheSOtanodelBarro, which, at410meters absolute vertical,tookoverfirst place.WefoundtwosmallcavesnearTamapatz.TheSOtanodelPradois a pitonthewaytoGolondrinas.At-3 metersthepit isnolonger free-climbable,andat-8metersyoucansee a smalldrop,withthecavecontinuingtothenorth. TheCuevadelVaso liesontheroadleading northwestoutofTamapatz. A gully-like entrance leads vertically into achamber3by4 meters in area,withasidecrevice to adepthof6 meters. A fewdayslater,wearrivedin Rio Verde,SanLuis Potosi,andlocatedtheManantialdelaMediaLuna.IntherestaurantLaCabanain Rio Verde,youcan rentdivinggearanddiversespecialsupplies. In a totalof3hoursand28minutesofdiVing time, I investigated this 30.20Cwarmvauclusian spring.At-35 meters liesthekeyplace inthecave,anunderwaterventwithacurrentstrongenoughtorip offone'shelmet.Notonlyisthecurrentmassive,butawedgedtree isanextraobstacleforthedivingcaver.Equippedwiththreecompressed-airtanks, Idrewmyselfdowninthesharp angledopeningandwasalmost prematurelyspitoutagainbythetorrentofwater. Youhavetoclimbdownto-46meters; ifyourhandsletgooftheir rockyhandholds,you'llgetanundesiredlift.At-48meters,youcan'tgoanyfurther .Thepassage profileshrinksto 1.5by0.8 meters,andthespeedofthecurrentdoubles.Turnaround,andyouarecatapultedtowardtheventat2 meterspersecond.Woetoyouifyougethungup;thewedgedtreeat-35metersis waiting for victims.InthelargespringpoolofMedia Luna,therearesixmorespring openings,whichwerealldived(see the map).Thevisibility variesbetween10and40meters,dependingonwhich craterorcaveoneis in. Los Anteojitos isanotherspringsouth-o10m,(GRUNORISS/MEXICO2BDIABLOandSheck Exley. [They also visited anumberofothersprings. An articlebySheck ExleyappearsinAMCSActivitiesNewsletter10.] The Cueva del Puente liesonthetrain line that leads northoutofCiudadValles pasttheRio Choy.Itis a small cave, only 3 meters.On24April 1988, I visitedtheSOtanodelas Golondrinas. By bus,youreach Aquism6n,whereyouget allthepermitsyouneedtovisit this gigantic pit.Thedriveupis achieved viaEILimoncitoandthemountainvillageofTamapatz. This trip isquiteanadventurewithanATV. Candido,myguide, pointedthewaythroughthesteaming jungle. SoonweEROSIONS GANGVII2vi2J600+400t-+200+A-AB-B0":0...1000+200+C-C...soc...0-0QUERSCHNITIEKROKIseRA2B:L,209mAZIMUT:4OISTANZENGESCH.WINKEL"4CUEVADELMarch 1979byanAmerican teamdownto adepthof95 meters. Temperaturewas190C, visibility25meters,underwaterpassage 175 meters,witha constrictionat-55metersanda second,undivedcon strictionatabout-97 meters.OneshouldnotfailtovisittheNacimiento del Rio Choy,SanLuis Potosi, a magnificent resurgence,bywhichanold train line runs.Anunderwatercave connectstothegigantic cavern; itwasdived to 40 metersdepthand379 meters length in 1979byateamofU.S. divers, Terry More,DanLenihan, Frank Fogarty, PaulDeloach,Ken Fulghum, DaleSweet, Steve Forman, Bill Stone, Carol Vilece,52

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19MANANTIALDELA MEDIALUNAseRA1..0.MEXICOCDHAUPTQUCLLE(TP-l;om!-1;8m)CVHOHLEE16'mAUF-15mG)HOHLEEd1mAUF-16mQ,20emAUF-18mSCHACHT Tz1.nV._115mSIS-15mSCHACHT T2mV.-13m BIS-15m(1)QUEllSPALlBlScmAUF-10mUWHOHlET3m.1.AUFTAUCHSTEllENQUELLSPALTAUF-om>VERBLOCKTE QUELlEAUF-7m,,lilm+250++lO-t+80+_'_._.._."._..!l._.-'.-------_.,.....b...To-_-_-20ml:r''''".,.,.." SCHNITTC-CTheSumiderodelRio Amarillo drains the whole valleyofSanCristobaldelas Casas, Chiapas. About 100 meters from the pond-like ponors, a tunnelwasdugthroughtotheothersideofthe mountaintopreventfuturefloodingofSanCristobal. Whoever has a chancetovisitSanCristobalmustabsolutely visit the NaBOLOMMuseum.A fantastic libraryonMexicoandGuatemalaalso contains interestingcavermagazines, suchastheCam:u1ianCaver.A comprehensive ethno graphic collectionofarchaeological arti factsoftheLacandonsofChiapas is opentothepublic. Using specialmaps,I found a reallyOK30i.66LomlFEL:;IMASSIVOSO.'Ox1.Sm_ _._./.--SCHNITTS-S;....:'.--.',.."..'RIOVERDES.LPGEZO.KNAB 1988CuevadeSilencioandtheCuevadeColores. Both caves can be traversed with boats. Silendo is a room20meters acrossand10 meters high. Colores is impressive becauseofits reddish-pink precipitates. Therearealligators intheCaftonEISumidero.EIChorreadero probably needsnointroduction. This high-class water cave is probably the most spectacular in Cen tral America, with a length of3300 meters, waterfalls,andlong stretchesofswim ming. During myvisit, I foundanaggres siveandrather large fresh-water crab in the lastlake;it tried to ward offmyarrival at its shore with threatening claws.NearJalpan,Queretaro,anotherspeleomecca in central Mexico, I vis ited the Sumidero del Rio Escanelilla. An entrance 25by12 meters leads intoanenormousponor,orstream sink, with passagesupto30 meters highand10 meters wide. To the right at the first branching, there is a sneakyCO2well that makesyourrespiration rate climb drasticallyandsuddenly-aboutface!The main passage gets biggerandbigger,andit has some formations. Back inthevillage above the cave, I learned thatonecandoathroughtrip; about 2 kilometers toward the valley is the resurgence, whichwethen also visitedtoa distanceof350 meters.Ournext stopwasCacahuamilpa in Guerrero. We spent 38hoursinthesuperriver cavesofRioSubtemineodeSanJeronimoandRioSubterraneodeChontalcuatlan.Ourcampwasinthe giant entranceofSan Jeronimo. A trip into Chontalcuatlan is more variedthanthe trip into San Jeronimo,withdeeperpools of waterandshort climbs, giant travertine pools,andclearer river water. I went into both caves alone forabouta thousand meters.Mapsofthese cavesarefound in theCam:u1ianCaver,volume8,number1, 1976. Naturally,wevisited the interestingtownofTaxco, centerofMexico's silver mining. Silver jewelry and precious stonesareto be found inmanystores. Thebustrip continued toCuautla, Morelos. There,webriefly visited the Manantiallas T azas. In Oaxtepec, Morelos,thePozo Azulwasmeasured:depth4.98 meters, temperature18.5degreesC, visibility15meters, flow 72.75 literspersecondon7 May 1988. This spring is located in volca nic rock.Throughcactus desertsandvalleys,ourtri p proceeded severalhundredkilo meters to Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca.InSantiagodeJuxtlahuaca,wewere able to inspect a largespringwith little flow. Manantial LagunadeJuxtlahuaca has amaximumdepthof9.73 meters, has a surfacetemperatureof20C,anddeliv ers 25.9 literspersecond; visibility is 4 meters in the bright blue, lime-saturated water. In Puerto Angel,weexplored adrawwell, PozodeAguadePuerto An gel, approximately 15 meters deep. Near Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas,youcan traveldownthe CaftonEISumidero with a boat.Onthis tour,youcan visitthe eastofRioVerde. In the smaller of thetwospring pools, I reached -9 meters. That is the deepest point,wheretherearesand boils. Visibilitywas15 meters.53

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.....<.0::t.nVl::t.n:j'".......,t;;Vlt"" tTl::jtTlZtxltTl:0[,:'04o123m-r.:::;:7'"-+2_20",..j..4.'0rr.+C-C0,:+10m++A-AIEEEOUERSCHNITTETENEJAPACHIAPASMEXICOCUEVADEVIENTOQr.,+5...13m'.:-:..++.205m+0-0OUERSCHNITTE1,100091020m(]-:.J_+.21m+B-B140,91MEiER./"i7588HUGE.'..SICKER.WASSERI5 10m,!GRUNDRISS70PO.GSZO.I':NA8RCRA40RHa.7m".....'I"",.,2.,,-:H6m',"G'--r-LNPASSIERBAR:RH0.05 -015mIr,II I.r.,IC-,\.I,..\\\7\,'\SCHWEMM\5ANOEROERH08m-....L.I/'A/)f+"",.30+AGUAFRIA,-,,, ,-.5.00G-Gt020-020-I2(()C-C"'090E-E.@;030.0.30+-1.50F-FDECHIAPAS+,/\+__.bOO2.50-+-"BB+2.00+VERMGESLANGE.b7.21m(17 5.881GANGOUERSCHNITTEGRUNDRISSCUEVA-I2.10+B-B+1S0+'.50+D-D.,.1.75+1.75+A-A(;)o10m{0TENEJAPA ++I:'cc..u_tn"'"

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19LANGSSCHNI1T (ABWICKLUNG)vEm-1(,f.5LANGEll.)67m_11iiII.iI.'II'II,iIiIiiii,..L------PUMPS(HAClil!ipl1.1xI')mI.'II.,,,.i!SEEMilW(ISSENKnABBEN,IF'UMPW[RKIt.1')"'I""'"b..SIPHON2"'';:'''' F17'"1819.-2SIPHON 1KlSTI\UMAUER(TAUCHBAAJ69SCHACHT 1 _:rz;-METALL-lEtlERMEXICOTIOTICHOCHIAPAS COMITAN1I0H[NOlrFPOJ"l19-1.9)1InCUEVADEEINGl\tJ(,S--Tn'(HTfnarrENEHOLZlUrlEToro20S8B0 KN/\Rinteresting spot into which a streamwassupposedto vanish. We took acolectivotoTenejapa,wherea real speleo-paradiseawaitedus. We followedthevillage streamnorthandcametoa giant green hole into which the water disappeared, cascadingdownin steps. We clambereddownoversteep slopes with fairy-tale vegetationanddiscovered four different caves withintwohours. The main stream vanishes intotheSumiderodeTenejapa, an oval shaft 12 meters deep, which joins with a passageofhugedimension with further pits with flowing water. Here,we'reabout2050 meters above sea level,andthedepthpotentialmaybemassive. [In 1972,Canadiancaversmappedthis cavetoasumpat-209meters.SeeCanadianCaver,vol. 5 no. 1, 1973.) Across from theSumidero, I measured a resurgence,theCuevadeAguaFria, a stream cave with diverse water constric tionsandanundivedsump. We surveyed67.21 meters. A secondwatersourceis locateddirectlyabovethesumideropit. Climbingupa mossy,drystreambedinthe green hole, I reachedan8-meter-high stone step that I managed tofree-climb whileanice-cold windblewaroundmyears. Five meters further on,anultra-narrow ellipticalopeningwasin sight. I christenedthenewlyfound place CuevadeVientoandpushedmyself into the mountainthroughtheO.4-meter-high passage. After just a few meters, Iwasstanding in a hall25by35 metersand20meters high. TheCuevadelVientowasmappedto140.91meters long; daylight entersthroughanothersumideroin a valley thatwasdryat the time. Chiapas is really something,andit will probably yield some spectacular metersofcave in the coming years. The most impressive cave inthestate is, though, Sumidero Yochib, whichhasbeen followed 3300 metersto206meters depth. Thisponortakes a river,andittrulychallenges its visitors with tyrolian traverses,rushingsluices,andshafts. TheGrutadeSanCristobal is ashowcaveworthseeing. After approximatelySOOmetersofshowcave,onetakesouthis equipment, whichwassmuggled in as inconspicuouslyaspossible,anddis appears into a 15-meter-high canyon pas sage that descends almost endlessly fartherinto the mountain. Afterabout2.6 kilometers, one reaches the Kramsky Salonandother giant formation rooms. The Italians reached -505 metersin1987.InSan Cristobal I got atipfromananthropologist: there was a cave inthevicinityofComitan, Chiapas, withthecurious nameofCuevadeTio Ticho, Uncle Ticho's Cave. A taxi driver from Comitan letusoff at a water-pumping station at the edge of town,andnotfarawaywefound a steeply sloping funnel lead ingdowninto the cave. This interest ing stream sink with zonesofdropsandtwosumpswas completely surveyed for 143.67 meters. The leftsumpwasinvesti gated withoutequipmentfor about 4 meters; a triangularunderwaterpassage 0.6by1.3 meters goes on. Near the GuatemalanborderliestheMontebello National Park, with its variouscolored karst lakes.Byboat,wein-vestigatedaMayanislandinLago Tziscao. Nearby,wefound a very inter estingcave, which Isurveyedcompletely inthefollowing three days. The Gruta PasodelSoldadois,at695.69 meters, the longestcavemappedonmytrip. It isSOkilometers west-southwestofComitan, nearLagunaBosque Azul. At 58 driving kilometers from Comitcin,thepavement ends. The cave isaboutonekilometer northoftheparkinglot. A small trail leads firsttoanaturalbridge, Sumidero San JosedelArco. Cross it,andstoponthe right.Themainentrance is locatedatthefootofa rock wall.Thevariouslyshapedformationsareastonishing: helictites,medusas,andfor mations beingeatenaway.A large roomwithadeeplakeover20 meters long is locatedintheeasternpartofthecave. An extremelymuddysumppassagegotthenameSwampFever;toughmudliterally sucksyourbootsoffyourfeet.Guatemala isoneofthecountries withthegreatest unexplored karst expo sure. Therearelimestone plateausupto 3800 meters in elevation. The cockpit karstsofAlta VerapazandPeten containuncountedmetersofcave. The most re mote river sinks in Petenhavenever been reached. For example,inthevicinity of Poptun, a riverdisappearsfor 18 kilome ters (asthecrowflies)underground.Impenetrablejunglehaskeptinterested peopleatbay.OurtripthroughGuatemala ledusfirsttoLake AtitlanandtoChichi castenango. Therearefantastic market55

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19(CUEVADE45MINUTOS )CUEVADEIXOBEL1wehaddecidedin1986tovisit the speleonautical paradiseofYucatan again. Inordertobeabletospend the coming leisurehourswith raised nitrogenpartial pressure,weloaded a rented VWbugwithnofewerthanfive 80 cubic-foot tanks.Thedives undertaken inthecentral Yucatan,todepthsof70ormoremeters, also yielded the deepestunderwatercavesofthe state. But firstwecontented ourselves with kilometer longunderwatersystems in Quintana Roo.On10June1988, John Delany, Larry Dickey,andI visited a previously unex ploredpartofthedownstreamsection of CenoteCarwash. Atour1986 tum-around point,wecontinueddowntotheright long with bats.OnthewaybacktoLanquID,wecould see variousotherspeleosights, such as the SotanitodelVacio,anunexplored 'small pit directlyonthe gravel path. We also becameawareofa disappearing stream inthevicinity, laternamedbyus Ruisseau Perdu.Ourtrip to Modesto Mendez, Guate mala,wentat a snail's pace,overstony roads like, in places,drystream beds. Thebustooka full sixhourstogo40kilome ters.Nowandthen, somethingpoppedupalong thisroadthatlooked cave-like,buttropicallywarmtemperaturesmadeustravel on.Onesuchplace isCuevadel Norte,anentrance2by4 meters directly next totheroad toMendezthatprobably shouldbecheckedoutcarefully in the future. We spent a fewdaysrecuperating in Ixobel, near Popttin.Inthevicinity, therearefine decorated cavesinwhichwemanagedtotakesomesuccessful pic tures.TheCuevadeIxobel#1is alsoknownbythenameCuevade45Minutos.Oneofthe Americans living here gave it thatnamebecause the hiketothecave takes45minutes. TheCuevadeIxobel #2wasmappedfor 105.29 meters.Onthewaytothis cavetherearediversekarstfeatures: Las Dolinas, Snake Crack,andCockpit Hole. The latter is a 10-meterpitwith probable continuation (no rope,nodescent).EIPozo is a stream-sink shaft in a cockpitontherightoftheroadleading to Pajal, Alta Verapaz,about6 kilometers after SanPedroCarcha. ActunCannearFloreswasthe last cave visited in Guatemala.Herewehave averybifurcatedshowcave with scouredandstrongly solution-etched rooms in which one can still find pottery shards from the timeoftheMaya.CHINESE TOWER1::::seRA2A10:520 2530m! ,!LQlHER ROOMGUATEMALAunique karst feature, a raging river cave,CuevaSemuc Champey, which ate itswaythrough a limestone terrace. About250meters away, theRioCahaoon flowsunderground.TheSumiderodelRio Cahaoon is the giant sink for this wild water. Above these caves,twosprings form crystal-clear giant basins, withuptoone thousand square metersofsurfacepertravertinepool.The whole thing is a kind of sluice through virgin forest.CuevadeAraftaAguaawaits chance visitors with large water spiders. CuevadeMurcielago,beneaththelast waterfallofSemucChampey, is a small,drycave 8 metersTERMINALROOMLAKEL1iilf:LAKER!-'CA.isFlEDERMAUSE5.6.66PETEN POPTUN[ME-HAL,)LAKEGEZJ. KNA8'988GEOGR.LAGEIV1.2kmSSwVON!JtOBEl(PQPTUN)81GLAKE.places here. Bybusandthumb,wereached theveryremoteandhard-to reach Lanquinandwere able to find lodg ing there with a very nice family. We first visited the archaeologically very interesting GrutadeLanquin, a river cave with the Nacimiento delRioLanquin as its resurgence. A path throughthedarkshow cave hasbeenmadewith slipperywoodenboards.Onfoot,wetriedtoreach thehiddenLagunasdeSemuc Champey,butwefailedonaccount oftheunbearable heat.Bychance,wewereabletoputthe final kilometers behindusin a four-wheel drive Jeep. Wewererewardedwith a56

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CHIAPAS, MEXICOillWlPr.P00[;110.cY".v-.,,-./-.0,.".......-,..,,4"'1111111/1111120,10,Metero,Vermessene Gesamtlange 695 MBCRA4cOliver Knab1988o

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19CUEVADEIXOBEL2(CUEVADE25MINUTOS ) PETENPOPTUNGUATEMALAGES.LANGE: 105.29mQUERSCHNITTA-A1:400(700SCRAoCcenotesmentionedbelow,sotheir loca tions willnotbegivenspecifically.CenoteChimayhasaplumbeddepthfromthegroundsurfaceof80.8 meters, mak ing itoneofthedeepestpitsintheYucatan.From16.4 metersundertheearth, 64.4 metersofclearwatersparkles. These sta tisticsshouldsufficetocauseanattackofnerves inanymarginalcave divers. Inthemiddleofa village, across fromthelocalbar,lies ablackholewith a wallaroundit.Itbellsoutinto adomebeneathandfalls 18.6metersinto a circular lake.CenoteIhasaplumbeddepthof33.1meters. Cenote MakilandCenote Salliucilaretwootherleadsfromthepeopleofthevillage,buttheycouldn'tbecheckedormeasuredbecauseofa lackoftime. After adriveofa fewhundredkilometersoutofAkumal,withintermediate stopsatcenotes TimulandChimay,wefinally reachedanotherremotevillageandtriedtofind helpersforthetransportoftheheavyspecialequipmentformyplaninCenoteUcil.Quitea specialwatercourse is locatedinthis cave. Beneaththelake's surfaceof10by16 meters, there's a 95.24-meter-deepunderwaterpit.Anexactplumbfromthegroundsurfacegavethesensationaldepthofl08meters, exactly vertical, surely first place intheYucatan.Thewaterintheuppersection isbrightyellowish green; it givesthecave a magical effectwhenraysofsunlight enter. Here, too, a decompres siontankwasdepositedat -15 meters.On16 June 1988at10:09AMthedivebegan.&5.1988TOPQ 0KNABIlamp, succeeding only with difficulty.Duringthismaneuver,thedivereel slippedawayandlanded perfectly vis ible next to the rock outcrop, 7 meters beneath me. Idovedownandretrievedthereel. Bottom-timehadreachedthepoint thatmycarefully-planned ascenthadto begin. Forgeneralsights.eeingtherewasn'tmuchtime left; nevertheless it was clear thattheCenote Timul isover80 meters deep. Whoeverwantsto visitthenether reaches oftheTimulshouldgowith a special heliox mixtocounteract nitrogen narcosis. Theauthorhasalreadyundertakenplans along these linesandis looking forward to anewdeepdiveproject. Difficulties are tobeexpected intherealm ofsupportpersonnelanda non-existentportabledecompressionchamber.Onthewaytoanotherultra-deepcenote, several other siteswerechecked fordivepotential. Cenote Xtojilhasancient carvings fromtheMayan agetoadmireabovethewaterlevel.Underwater,thislimestone holewasnot a good target, barely 2 meters visibilityandonly13meters deep.Onthemainroadfrom Merida to ChichenItzeilies Cenote Chiuan, a grottoworthvisiting, with abroadadjoining lake that couldbetraversed with a boat. The cave is lit at times,andithasbeenmadeashowcavebya coupleofsharpbusinessmen. Further activities areplannedattheandfollowed anarrow0.7-by-3-meter passage. This horizontal passagewaslo cated in azoneof mixed freshandsalt water.WeturnedaroundinCenoteCarwashata point 150 meters fromthediveentrypoint. TempleofDoomisoneofthemost beautiful cave-diving sites in Central America. Visibilityof50 meters, snow white formationsunderwater,andtwogiganticroomsmakedivingherea spe cial experience.Wefollowed a 3-by-4 meter passage at -17 meterstoa first room,turnedofftotheleft from there,andreached, afterabout140 meters, anothersuperbroom.Fourdive lineswereknottedtogetherhere, eachwitharrowmarkers. It's agoodidea torememberthese crucial life-saVing marks inordernot tobreatheone'slastherelater.Wesplitup.While LarryandJohn inspected the leftpartoftheroom, Iswamoverto the right. From a distanceofover60meters I could seetheothertwodiversthroughthehalocline. Inmydivedirec tion, a passage loop ledbacktothefirst room. This cave, rigged American style,thusofferssomedanger,not tobeunderestimated, of lossoforientation.Oneof the iron rulesofcave diving inEuropeis that one dives back alongthesameline thatonedives in on, whichweheld toduringthis dive. In a laterdivein Madi son Blue Hole in Florida, this problem became acute, becausetheexperienced leaddivermissed the correctturntwice. Despite its 4O-meter visibility, CenoteNaharonis adarkproject becauseoftheblack oxidation layersonits walls. At adepthof20meters,wedivedwestfor300 meters. The beautifulspringbasin is im posing,withits glowing green algae. Thenwehadenoughofdisplacingwaterhorizontallyandsetoursightsondeepergoals. After the VWbugwasstuffed to the roof with a most im possibleamountofgear, we steered firsttowardsCenote Timul, Yucatan, always a clear favoriteamongsupercave-dive sitesontheplanet. Aftertheobligatory shotline was installed from 0 to 50 meters, a de compressiontankwasstationedat-15 meters.At7:56AM,Iwentdowninfreefallto-50andthere fixed the guideline to asunkentree familiar from 1986. Sharply over totheright, Idovedownthemas sive, steep, slimy wallandendedupa bit too far totheright. Unexpectedly, a wallpoppedupin frontofmeat -72 meters, stoppingmyprogress. Thatwasn'tin the plan. Consequently, I roseupa littleandfloated intheotherdirection along the slope at-65meters. Above a small rock outcrop I triedtotumonthe50-watt59

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0-..oCENOTETIMULCENOTEUCILYUCATANMEXICOYUCATANMEXICO::t.(')Vl::t.('):::!-.:::::.....:::!tr1Vl t""'tr1tr1:;.:,Z\:Xltr1:;.:,....<.c0i.E'SENKBLEIDERSHOTLINEIN91,71.mSCHACHT AUFmKRErSRUND ,30-40mSCHACHTAUFSOm:KRErSRUNDi30-40mMAX.95.2t.mWASSERTIEFE(.108mASTERRAIN)-32m 15-18mSEE10,16m OEKOMPRESSIONSSHOTLINEMIT9-1ZmMARKIERUNGOEKOMPRESSIONSGERATeocuFTIAUF-25m,1SemEl0:>10'-1IIIiiI II,1\I22.-!is.24m1_V_,..,."".....:J:..... ,..........2P108II-Il._MISCHZON\-67m__n nh _)(10 KNAB16.6.88.70mI IiMEERWASSERI-/I"II2I2_100m_90m_Sam_40m_80m_60m_30m_20m_10m_am._ 70m-2_ 20m_SOmOm......"'.,,:....,_-.,._ 80m_30m_70m_LOm_10m\\'4,\'\I0'II.,"/.'='/<=........'-"...""""."",."'\"",,".OkNA9155,88.vEZ 0 KNAB1988

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19Thetightlystretchedshotlinedisappearedinanunrealfashionverticallybeneathme.Thepithasanestimateddiameterof15 to18metersbetweenthesurfaceand-30meters.At-40meters,theshaftwidenstoanoversizedtubeofabout30to40metersdiameter.I floatedslowlyeverdeeperandwatchedmydepthgauge:-SO,-55,-60, -65 ....Thelittleroundpointoflightabovememovedeverfurtheraway.SuddenlyIhadtroublereadingmydepthgauge;everythingwasmildlyoutoffocus.Raptureofthedeep?No, Ihadjustcrossedthehalocline, azoneofmixedsaltandfresh water.At-67meters, Iwasslowedbytheheavierseawater,andIcouldseetheweightbobonmyshotlineat-91.74. Because Iwasstill inthezoneofmixedwater, I stillcouldn'tseethefloorofthepit.At-70 meters, at 8barspressure,nitrogenmadeitself felt forthefirst time, acting like a narcotic. Idecidedtotumaroundto-65meterstotryforbetteracclimatization.Thesymptomsvanished,andImadea secondattempttodivedeeper.Depthmadeit self felt again,andfurtherforaysintothismarginalareadidn'tseemadvisable. Therefore, Iimmediatelybeganaslowascentat 5metersperminute,a majoraspectofa safe decompression.Thelongascenttimeaddsto"bottomtime,"though,andmustbetakenintoaccount. After61minutesofdecompressionat 15, -12, -9, -6,and-3 meters,thediveendedafter 1hourand20minutes.Buceo de Cuevas en MexicoNearthesamevillage,theCenotedelIglesia,about40metersdeep,wasalso visited,butitcouldnotbeplumbedbecauseofaccess difficulties.ShortlybeforeourdepartureforFlorida, adivesiteatPalancarReefwiththetellingnameLasCuevas,nearCozumel,waschecked.Spongesinbrightcolorsandallkindsofbeastswouldmaketheunderwaterphotographerstareenthusiastically;limestoneaddictsprobablywouldn'tgetanadrenalinerushfrom it. Finally,wepaddledaroundinCenoteSacActunforoveronethousandunderwatermeters(roundtrip)inPasodeLagarto,themainpassagetotheright,andtothenorth.En1988el espeleobuzodeSuiza Oliver Knab visito sobre setenta y cinco cuevas y resurgenciasenMexico,desdeChihuahua hasta Yucatan, mapeando varias cuevas incluyendo Cueva PasodeSoldado con695metrosdelongitud.Lacual se encuentraenEIParque NacionaldeMontebello. Bueeando tambien el Cenote Ueil a una profundidadde70metros y el Cenote Timul a72metros.61

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19SANTAANA'90 EXPEDITIONAlan WarildJanuary1989.Itsoon becameapparentthat GregTunnockandIwerenotthefirst cavers to visitthearea. The locals spoke vaguelyofagroupofforeigners, definitely not Americans,whohadvis itedthearea, seven,orwasit thirty, years ago.Ofwhatcaveswerefoundourhostsknewlittle,buttheyall agreed thatoneofthem kicked a beehive while abseiling neartheentranceandgotstungbadly. Unlooked-at entrances at 1800 meters with a six-square-kilometer catchment mustberare,butI could recall norumorsorarticles about Santa Ana,aneasily reached village only 5 kilometers north of San Jeronimoonthewell-traveled road to Huautla, sowepushedonto take a look. Whatwefound could onlybedescribed asanexcellent entrance, taking a healthy stream. A large, boulder-strewn stream passage continued forabout50 meters to aminorconstriction1.5meters in diameter. Afterthatthewaterdroppeddownthefirst pitch,andwehadto get backoverthehill to SanPedroforthenight. The nextdaywewereback with cav ing gearreadyto get as far as possible in what looked like a seriously wet cave.62Fortunately, consideringthelimitedtimewehad,wespotted a largedrypassagesome40meters in.Ithad a real constric tion. The squeezewasinitially blockedbya few rotting logs,butagoodbreeze was getting through,anda pitchwasvisible beyond. Wegotdownaboutonehundredmeters that day,stoppingwhenweranoutofrope, still in excellent passagewithno signofprevious entry.Onourthird day, Gregwasso sick with "turistas"thatI was left topushonalonedownalmost continuous pitchesinnicegraymarble with flowstoneerodedto give a nice wood-grain effect. The pitchesremainedinthecomfortably easy rangeof5to30 meters,andI ranoutofropeatabout-200 meters. The only note to spoilthedaywaswhenthepresidente informedmethathehadrevoked ourpemliso--andwehadno bargainingpowerand250metersofrope in his cave. The haggling nextmorningcenteredaroundtheusual treasureandtheknownfact that gringosmakemoneyoutofev erything they do,butGregandIdidget intothecave again, knowing itwouldbeourlast chance for a while. We surveyeddowntowhatlatercomputedto -214 meters,andwithouroneremainingropewedescendedthelast pitch. Below that,thehugepassagenarroweddowntoaholebetweenboulders,appearedtochangedirection,anddroppeddowna large inclined riftthatIestimatedtobe100 metersdeep.Atthispointwebegantofeel a littleextended,sowebegantheclimbuptobeginthederig, getting lost onceortwicealongtheway.The villag erswerenowheretobeseenasweluggedouroverladenpacksthroughthesleepingtownat2:00AM.So,whattodowhenfacedwithagreatcaveinunfriendlyterritory?SantaAna'90.Anythingis possible in Mexico,and,besides,therewasa local electionbetweenour1989 recceandthemain expedition. Justtobesure, I took agoodsupplyofglossymagazineswitharticlesonourpreviousexpeditions tootherareas,sentapreliminaryletter toarriveamonthbeforewedid,andof fered torentthenicestbuildingin town. Oztotlwassmilingatus, too. He,orsomeone,hadbuilta passable road towithin100metersofthevillage beforethe'dozerbroke. From a fieldhouseofunusualluxury,webeganworkontheWet Routein Xongo Dwi'fli.TheadvanceteamofMark, Jim,andIfoundeverythingclearandopenandthewaterflow considerablylowerthanayearbefore.Onourfirstpushwebegantheoftentedioustaskofrigging aflood-pronecave as safely as possible. Atthisrateitwouldtakeusmonthsto getdownthe1400 meters totheexpectedresurgencelevel,butwithanexcellent breeze,goodrock,andlowLianeandShaneWilcoxonthe last of the smallstreampitches in theWetRoute. To the left is a 45meterpitch, followedbya70meterpitch.Alan Warild.

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19Greg Tunnockonhis wayupduringthe flash flood that hituswhilewewere derigging. Compare to the photoonthe previous page, which was taken earlieratthe same drop. The flow has alreadydroppedbyhalf from the peak flow.PhotosbyAlan Warild.water flowwe'dputupwith it. The secondpushsawthe cavegomore vertical,downdropsof40metersand70meters. This second pitch, the Wet Mir ror, could become quite nastyinhigh waterdueto its constricted cross-section. We just touched down, attheend of four ropes knottedendto end,onthewrongside of a large pool. The swing across to the start of the rift beyond was quite something. The rift itselfwasthe first quiet place forhoursandledtothe Gym nasium, a wonderfully climby section of pools, steps, jammed logs,andeventu ally a pitch. At this stage reinforcements began to arrivetospeedupexploration. In one trip, MarkandJimbroughtthesurveydowntothebaseoftheWet Mirror at-270meters, while ShaneandI took a compul sory shower intheWaterworks, then wanderedondowntwokilometers of easy walking passage. From the interest ing maneuversofthe Waterworks to the first sump, theonlyminor interruptions to the large, level passage with its small stream flowing easily along were the occasional rockpiles. The sump, however, keptusentertained for some time. After exhausting all the easy possibilities,wedecided therewasno easy way. The dive was lessthanone meter, with a smallcommunicationtubeaboveit.Oncethrough, I took offdownthe passage to take a look,and5 meters later Iwashitbythe breeze again. Following it backupstream Ipoppedoutof a bea utifully cam ouflaged passage just behind Shane. Sim ply moving a few stepsawaytotidyupourgearmadethe passage difficult to see, obviously oneofthose nasty existen tial caves I'd heard of, only there because youknowit's there. The next obstacle was most definitely there. The roofdroppedto40centimeters above water level, and the stalactiteshunglevel with the water.Bycareful maneu vers I got through with adrynose. In thismuchsmaller passage the wind was really moving,andIhadbeen wet longenoughtobegin feeling cold. Izippeddownto a cold-looking pool, took a glance,andbolted for home. ShaneandIhadscored more thanourfair share,anditwouldtakeusatleasttwotrips tosurveyit.From the log:Mark andJimtookoffinsearchoftheongoinglendin A1[Xongol.Thepromiseddeepswimmablepoolturned out tobea yucky muddy sump,sowecametoa grindinghalt5meters beyondtheprevious day's limit of exploration.Upa quickclimb,thendowntheotherside,soonsawuspast"sump2."Alas, approximately 80metersfartherdown thestreamway it sumpsagainsump3-andnobypasswasfound. Midwaybetweensumps2and3alargeinlet and its adjoiningpassagewereexploredforapproximately 200 metersbackup its streamway.Xongohadrapidlygroundto a halt,andsurveyandexploration trips totheendwere beginning to take 12 to15hours. This ledto"rest"dayssloggingupanddownthesurroundinghills in searchofotherentrances,thentheinevitable total restdayswhenthemistandrain were so thick that even awalktotheshitterbecameanepic. Several caveswerefound,butnothing inspiringwhencompared with Xongo, so after feedingourvisitors, RolfandAnne,tothe flooding cave in the63

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64AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19008E88800o0NMg,('I')N.....0I I ,ooo'"oH+----+-H-----J-+---1--+--+-_+__83:ooC)coX

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g;NEARSIDEXongoDwiIii -CUEVA DE SANTA ANASanta Ana Atiextlahuaca, OAXACA,MEXICODepth 445 metres Length 6300 metres Explored and surveyedby"SantaAna '90" January 199041NorthwoodSINewtown 2042 AUSTRALIAo00 100IIIIIImetroswaterenteringLAGOMIGUEL ALEMAN -445metresTHEBEACHTHEBLACK DEATHFARSIDECLEARWATER\ water enteringnCIln...,-'<::::-...,-t'T'JCIlZt'T'Jt-'t'T'J::jt'T'JZt:x:lt'T'J......10

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AMCSACTIVITIES NEWSLETTER NUMBER19tightriftII!I80 604020OmP45dollnefloor'"Santa Ana '90Ning06BoneCaveA10215mdeepSanta Ana Aleixtlahuaca. Edo. Oaxaca. MexicoSurveyedbySanla Ana '90. January1990.using topofil.Theotherstream sink in the area chokedabout20meters in; it may feedthelarge inlet in Black Death. Anyway,ourrentwasdue, sowemoved on, leavingbehind a great cave. (Although Ihaveno definite informa tion, it seemsthatanAustinorCanadiangroupstayed forabouta week around 1970, right before the local politics gottoo ugly for cavers for a few years. They foundXongo Dwi'fli-<:ouldhardlyhavemissedit-butitwassumpedabout100meters in, probablyatthe constriction50meters in, just beforethefirst wet pitch,andtheDryRoutewasalso blocked. [This is probablythe1971tripdescribedinCanadianCaverno.4,pages 45-SO-ro.] Another find was Sloth Cave, probablyP60Despite a considerable amountofscrub bashing, no great new holes were turned up. All that remained was to derig Xongoandtake a quick surreptitious look.ata possible stream sink to the northwest in the next municipio. The derig should have been easy,butOztotl' s boss is TIaIoc,andhesentusadownpourthat changed the rather low flow of some20literspersecond to a thickbrown500 literspersecond in ten minutes.WithMarkwellonhiswayabove,thefourofussettledintoseeifitcameupfurt1terordropped.AsDaveandJimweresettlingin,Markpoppedhis1teadovertheedgeabovethem."You're gunnagetfuckin' hungry ifyastay1tere!"TItefloodwasalreadydroppingquickly,sowewent out,taking"after"pltotosonthewayup.hope that someneweyes would find a sump-3bypass(they didn't),wesome what despondently began to rerig the Dry Route. Afterthreedaysofrain, "dry" actually meant '1ess wet," so even redo ing theDryRoute proved to be a greatday'ssport. At the bottom of the 100 meterriftthe cave went,but onlyviasomeunpleilsantpassagesandtwosqueezesinparticular.EventuallytheriftmIdsluttteredzonesgavewaytoopen,half-meter-wideriftwiththestreambelowandalightbreeze1teadingout.Mark and I stoppeddueto lackofcarbide with the altimeter claim ing-400meters. The squeezes were in fact so horrendousthat there was asuddenupsurgeof interest in findingnewcaves,butapart from JimandLiane's efforts inNing'd6(A10),a roughly 200-meter pit developed in a rift,othercaves stoppedatthe bot tom of the first pitchorsoon thereafter. Finally, courage for the evildaywas summoned:AI,Jim,andMarkpus1tedtlteDryRoute,tltoughthesqueezesanddowntoarockpiJe150metersbeyondthelaststoppingpoint,w1teretiteyhitthemajorstreamagain.Downstreamwenttoalargeclutmberandlake,whicJIlooksdecidedlyterminal.Upstreamisabout2kilometersofpassage[the Black Death,dueto the brittle, black coated rock]tothedownstreamsideofsump3,butnobypasswasfound.Tltetripoutthentook65ltours.HalfwaybetweentlterockpiJeandsump isanequalorlargerinletwithcleanblue-greenwater(asopposedtothemainstreamlitteredwith Arielpackets,sticks,sombreros,etc.).Time18.5hours.The very thought of having to return through those squeezestocomplete the survey helped us findandexplore more small caves,butapart from one with a nice jaguar skeleton, Nita Xaing'd, noth ing of great significance was found. Threedayslater,Slutne,Liane,AI,andMarkleftearlyand1teadedtotheDryRoute,alltosuroey.AlandSlutnelosttheraisinandscoredthelongtripsurveyingfromtheterminallakeupstreamfor2kilonteterstotltethirdsump.LianeandMarkgottosurveyfromDO[the end of the earlier survey)totheterminallake-650metersofsqueezyshit.MarkandLianeoutat2:00AM,Slut/teandAloutat8:00.Finally, DaveandCarey found a cave of some significanceandnumbered itA40;it never got a name:A40.Majordiscoveries:megabonepitandthreelargepotsandaveryelusivedraft.Allmajordownwardpitcheswerechecked,butduetothephreaticnatureofthetoppartoftltecave,passagemaylutvebeenmissed.ThiswasverifiedonthewayoutbystandingatthetopofPlOandfreezingfromtheinwarddraft66

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AMCS ACTIVITIES NEWSLETTER NUMBER19100mOm60mOmdots tight phreati0 passages ::::;?...-steepmud&batguano floor30m climbdownPl0steepf1owstonemany phreatic?passages?7?0Vocave pearl floorA40100 m deepSantaAnaAteixtlahuaca, Edo.Oaxaca,MexicoSketch by Santa Ana'90,January'90Om2040608010012525P2 nat, 1 bolt jaguar skeletonNita Xaing'dA41125 m deepSantaAnaAteixtlahuaca, Edo.Oaxaca,MexicoSketch by Santa Ana'90,January'90altimeter controlOmP20A43Santa Ana '9067

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19Taken from theHUAUTLA1 :50,000 sheet(1km grid)SantaAnaCaves:AI,Xongo Dwi'fii,445meters deep,6.5kilometers long. Themaincave of the area.Ithas multiple smallupperentrances justnorthof themainentrance. There are also these leads: Shaft inflow above last pitchinDryRoute. Meandering stream entering 50 meters below last pitch inDryRoute. Several inflows in Dry Route. Inflowatnorthendof Lago M.A. Inflow beforesump3atendof Wet Route only explored for about 200 meters. Clearwater inflowinBlack Death unexplored. Inflowonopposite side ofwetpitch1.Andof course the cavemayonedaywashclear to allow passagebeyondLago Miguel Aleman, the terminal lake. A2, a large entranceina doline with waterfall. A3, a small hole besidethetrack. A4andAS,poorholes in cornfields. A6, approximately 60 meters deep, tightandunpleasant to a choke. A7,about50 metersdeepwith a 30-meter pi tch.AS,about40 meters deep, three pi tches,686,12,and8. AIO,NingDo,215metersdeep,developed in a rift withminorhorizontaldevelopment,somepotsandbones.A30,about20metersdeep,nice lookingdrysink wi thonepitch. There is also arumoredcave north of A30. A31, abou t 30 metersdeep,bigentrance in large doline,onepitch. A32,about25metersdeep, not markedwithnumber, active sink, climbdowna narrowrift,thenhorizontal to a rockanddebris choke,noairflow. A40,about100 metersdeep,twin walk-in entrances to largechamberwithabundantflowstone, batsandpots, three pitches. A41, Nita Xaing'd,about125 meters deep,drystreamwayatbaseoflarge streamway, 25-meter pitch to largechamberwith jaguarskeletoninnorthcorner,twomore pitches to bottom, good breeze. A42,about45metersdeep,30 meter shaft to rift. A43,about30 meters deep, shelter cavehighupdoline, walk-in to 25-meter pitch.

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19Cueva de SANTA ROSA148mlong 319mlong Santa Rose-Chilchotla Edo. Oaxaca, MexicoSurveyed by Santa Ana'90,February1990usingtopofiloSanta Ana '90Greg Tunnock in the streampassage in Xongo Dwi'fii,betweenthe second pitchandthe begin ning of the bigger pitches.AlanWarild.ourA40, a cave with numerous bones where they found a piece of skin with fur attached. This was later stolen when they were searchedbythe army. All this goes toshowthatadequate research can be misleadingandthat a cave is never dead. Even Lago Miguel Aleman mayonedaygo to its resurgence.) Members ofthefirstphaseoftheexpedition were Carey and Dave Barlow, Jim Blyde, Greg Tunnock, Alan Warild, LianeandShane Wilcox, and Mark Wil son. We were visitedbyRolf AdamsandAnne Gray.El Eden is a small village forty min utes walk east of Chilchotla, in the Sierra Mazateca. Anewroad to within 300 meters of the village shouldhavebeen passable since the end of 1990. CuevadeEIEdenwasfirst visitedduringthe Chilchotla '87 expedition(AMCSActivitiesNewsletter18)andbriefly explored to the first obstacle, about100meters in. The caveisbeneath the village, just beside the school, and the villagers enter itduringthedryseason to collect water from the standing pools. A fuller exploration wasmadeenroutefromSantaAnatoZongolica. CuevadeEIEden was ex plored overtwodays at the end of Januaryandfinished inanarea of narrow dividing tubesat-276meters. The cave is 948 meters long andisdeveloped at the topofa shale bed dipping at an average angle of30degrees.Itruns down-dip withnolarge drops,andfewofanysize. The floorandwallsareformed mainlyofsoft, slippery,andcrumbly rock, withtheonly solid rock formingtheroof.Addedto this isanabundanceof soft white cave coralormoonmilk, largeamountsofvillage effluent,andseveral large (OK, giant, at 10 centimeters in diameter) spi ders,andit ranks asoneofthose caves that would have been better not found. The cave canberegarded as fully ex plored andunworthyoffurther effort. Immediately totheright (south)ofthenewroad from Chilchotla towards Rio Sapo, just pastthelocality of Santa Rosa, isthelarge, obvious entrance to CuevadeSanta Rosa, 148 metersdeepand319meters long. The impressive walk-in en trance, with its large roof hole, slopesdowna steepboulderslope with some large logsandbecomes progressively narrower, passesthrougha sizable cham ber, and eventually reaches a crawl.Beyondthecrawl,theroof curvesdownto meettheflatmudfloor withnoobvious leads.WithXongo Dwi'fti "finished" and El Eden notworthfinishing, membersofthe Santa Ana '90 expedition decided to spend their last month tidyinguplooseendsat Zongolica, MunicipiodeChil choltla, Oaxaca. Two full-scale expedi tions totheareain1985 and 1987hadexploredmanycavesandleft nearly asmanyunfinished leads.(SeeAMCSAc-69

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19::Snoopy Flies Aerofl6t Lassie meets a semi-trailer _..,-767m1-------...o NIA QUIEN NITA Dead Dog Cave767 m deep3.1kmlong Zongolfca -Chilchotla, Edo. Oaxaca, MexicoSurveyed by Santa Ana '90, using topofil, January 1988 and February 1990Santa Ana '9070

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19tivities Newsletter16and18.) Some of the deepcaveshavequestion-markleadsnear the bottoms,andthere were several en trancesasyet unentered.Addto this the large areasthatrequired more detailed prospectingandtherumors of caves;wecould not stayawaytoo long. Basecampwas once again setupin the village of Zongolica,andwithin adaywewereonourwaydownnew caves.Ofthemanychecked, time, equipment,andperson nel forcedustoconcentrateoureffortsontwomain caves. X'oy Tixa was foundandexplored in early February 1990. Tixa isanuncom promisingly vertical cave of modest di mensions,813metersdeepand1124 meters "long," althoughthemaximum horizontal displacement is 100 meters. Theonlyreallyopenpassagesaresome of the pitches. A largedrop-inentrance with a walk in side hole leads toanunstable boulder pile overhanging the first pitch. Below lies a seriesofshort pitchestoa tight squeeze, followedbythe first sizable pitch,45meters. After a tight, unpleasant pas sagethroughThe Starting Blocks,dirtyboulders forming the floorofthe cave, there is a rift thatdrops300 meters continuouslyonrope, includinganon-rope squeeze, to a smallstreamway. This stream way constitutes the only pleasantpartof the cave, once past the squeeze: The meandering streamway is cut into good black rock with numerous pitches ranging from 5 to40meters. JustwhenTixa looks like it may become bearableandyoumayeven forgive it, the water disappearsdowna tiny holeat-700 meters. The cave shouldendhere; unfor tunately it doesn't. Adrybypass lined withmudand interspersed with squeezesdropsthe last100meters to a crumbly, worthless choke. Therearenolargepitches,andthe passage is so difficult that it took us about twelve hours to explore it.Noleads were found in this region,andthenature of the passage does not lend itself to further investiga tion. The most hopeful lead is backupatabout-140meters, where a drafting pas sage is still going after three pitches. Nia Quien Nita,orDead Dog Cave, was first enteredduringthe Chilchotla '87 expedition, when it was exploreddownthe first six pitches to about-70meters. Due to its lower entrance elevation, other caves were calling more loudlyatthetime.Thedeaddogisatthebottom of the second pitch. In early February 1990, exploration resumed.Oncepastthewetsqueeze attheend-pointofexploration, thedogopensoutagainandbecomes more ver tical. The smallstreampickedupat the bottomofthe second pitch is followed to about -500 meters along a small, narrowstreamwayinterspersedwithopenpitches, most ofthemsmall. The two most significantaretheSO-meter pitchandChunderDogPitch, whichdropsthe last 100 metersto-SOOmeters in a large chamber. (AskDaveBarlowwhatit'slike to get a touchoftheturistasona 100 meter pitch.) At this level,anelevation above sea levelof1000 meters, the caveshowsthemostun-Zongolica-like char acteristicofextensive horizontal devel opment.Oneof these large fossil pas sages,CroakedCanine,headstoward the major concentration of Zongolica's cavestothe south. Another, Snoopy Flies Aeroflot,trendstowardthe Stonindo caves,westofZongolica,andendsatGoofyGetsItatthesamelevelasStonindo's large chambers. The watero-200ometres-100 -200Pilch lenglht3210334752567716849 13103RopeRigging10nat-hl,nat-hi,nat15 nat..nl. nat1012 2nat 35 2nat-h1 15anat2212pr+nat(inolorpool)20pr+boIt.bolt-510nat+08r.........-.o100-200-100Cueva de EL EDEN300 mdeep1070 m longEIEden-Chilchotla Edo. Oaxaca. MexicoSUNeyed by Santa Ana '90, February 1990 using tapo!ilci)SantaAna'9071

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19Pilch DeplhRopeRigging 1 2540nal.2br-7 2 12nal.bnal-6 3 28or.nal.br-9 nal-23 4 12 160or.nalb-2 538or.2nalr-5 b-12 r-25 6 9or.nalnal-3 r-5 7 12or.nalb-2 8 4 10nal.b91114nal.bIY)10 60 682nalr-l0r-251118nul.bb-l0r-12 1260or.br-12 b-22 13 20or.b.naIIY)1433or.br-12b-2O15 20or.nalr-6 1616310pr.nal,b-l0(diagonal slot\ 1730pr.b,r-l,r-141840pr.b,r-12, r-22 1912pr.b208pr.b21020nal.b22 9pr.nal23 82nal24 18n.pr.b2532pr.b,b-3, b-22 26 4pr.2nal2747nal.b282025O!I1at.1l1291014 2b(YI, r-3, pendule-8305I15 2Il, r-5313IpHnal3237b.nal(dimbup)332 2nat(Y)34330pr.nal355 pH2na11368pr.b.nal372534nal.b,r-l0,b-253810 14 2b396 14nal.b................................................................South...Northsection...........................'.'?.-,squeeze-50o-550 -300 -500 -350 -250 -450 -100 -400 -200 -150 -600 -650X'OY TIXA-700Man Hole813 m deep 1124 m long-750Zongolfca-Chilchotla, Edo. Oaxaca, MexicoSurveyed by Santa Ana '90, -800 using topofil. February 1990./altimeter control -50 050100 150 m
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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19canbefollowed from the baseofChunderDogdowna 60-meter pitchtoanexcel lent larger stream, Dog Drink. This canbefollowed downstream to a 6nal12O-meter pitch to Lassie Meets a Semi-Trailer at the deepest point inthecave, 767 meters deep. Nia Quien Nitais3.1kilometers long. Nia Quienwasexplored very quicklybya smallgroupwhowereshortoftime.Thisledtoseveralunexploredorunsurveyed leadsandsome epic de rigging trips. Exploration will continueonthe next expedition, and possibly acampwillberequired to fully exploretheextensive passages at the-500meter level. Participants in the second partofthe SantaAna'90 expeditionwereRolf Adams, CareyandDave Barlow, Jim Blyde, Steve Carrick, Anne Gray, Greg Tunnock, Alan Warild,andMark Wil son.soOm-soExpedici6n a SantaAna1990'700-150En Enerode1990ungrupodeespele61ogos Australianos re-'600tornaronalpobladodeSanta-2SOAna,enlacercaniadeSanJeronimo, Oaxaca,paracon-1500tinuarla exploraciondeXongoDwi'i'li,mapeandoasi6.5kil6metrosdelongitudyuna1400profundidadde445metros.-450Dejandovariospasajessinexplorar,enFebrero movieron'300elcampamentea Zongolica,en-5SOdondeexploraronX'oy Tixa. Esta cueva desciende hasta 813 metros, casi sin pasaje horizon-1200talalguno.Posteriormente-6SOretornaron a la cueva NiaQuienNita, oCuevadel Perro Muerto,1100laeualfueexploradapor-7SOprimeravezen1987. En 1990 seexploroadicionalmente3.1'000kilometrosdelongitud y 767maslmetrosdeprofundidad,y sobredicha cuevaestanplaneando",[MJIJ\)supr6xima expedici6n.73

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1000m/"ISAN MIGUEL SOYALTEPECBLAECKEXPEDITIONMOUNTAINS ABOVE ROADS RIVERS---AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSL...ETTERNUM.... ..BER19The ExpeditVERACRIonAreaMEXICOUZ&OAXACA,74

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19THE 1988 BRITISH EXPEDITION TO THE SIERRAZONGOLICAPaul IbbersonFormanyyears, thespeleologicalsplendorsof MexicoeludedBritish cavers. Save for a few luckyindividuals,thebig pitsandsubterranean riversremainedthestuffoflegend.Themajorityofexpeditionariescontentedthemselveswith visits tothefamous caving regions of Western Europe,whilstthosewhodidventurefurther afieldturnedtheir atten tions totheeast: Greece, Turkey, Iran,andfinally Southeast Asia. Mexicoremained largely inviolate. This situationwasto changeduringthe 1980s.Twoyears ofpreparationled to Mexico '82, a large, high-profile expedi tion,whosemembersspenttwomonthsbasedaroundSan Cristobaldelas Casas in the state of Chiapas. Altogether, eleven kilometers of varied passagewasex plored,themajor discovery beingtheresurgence ofVeshtucoc, four kilometers long(1).However, the expedition was not withoutits problems. Accessandpolitical hassles restrictedworkin some areas,butthe most serious problemwasa medical one. Seven members oftheteam became seriously illandhadtobehospitalized in Mexico City, where itwasrevealedtheyhadbeen struckdownbyhistoplasmosis. Despite such setbacks,theexperiencewasenduring,andthree years latersomeofthemain protagonists of the 1982triporganizedanothermajor expedition to Mexico. This time,thearea visited wastheXmtla Plateau inSanLuis Potosi, visitedbyseveralgroupsovertheyears,butapparentlywithplenty stilltodo. Withtheaidofinformation suppliedbymembersofAmericanandCanadianex peditionstothearea,theBritish teamwasable to targetnewareasoronesthathadreceived only a little attention(2).As a result, anumberoffine caves were ex plored,anda totalofaroundeighteen kilometersofnewpassagewassurveyed. Expedition members alsomadevisits to someofthearea's most notable land marks, including descentsofS6tanodelas GolondrinasandHoyadelasGuaguasandascents ofthestunning spireofLaSilleta. Attheendofthetrip, therewereno major going leads intheareas visitedtoenticetheteam back,but,forthemajor ityoftheteam,thedesiretoreturnto Mexicowasgreat.Evenbefore allthelooseendsofMexico'85/'86hadbeen tiedup,planswereafoot for another venture. A different areawassought, preferablywithpoten tial forthedeeporextensive systemsthathadso fareludedtheprevious British expeditions. Following discussionswiththeBelgians fromtheGroupeSpeleo Alpin BeIge, attention became focussedontheSierraZongolicaandSierraMazateca,therange straddlingthebordersofthestates of Veracruz, Puebla,andOaxaca. Weknewthesemountainscontained some ofthegreat systemsofMexico,anditappearedtherewasfurtherpotential in anumberof areas. With insufficient informationonwhich to base a decisiononthefinal locationoftheexpedition, a reconnaissancewasorga nized inthespring of 1987.HowardLimbertandTim Allenspenta fortnightrushingaroundlookingatpossible areas. Withthehelp of Ramon EspinasaoftheSociedad MexicanadeExploracionesSubternineas,theycheckedoutaccess routesandlocal per mission arrangements. Their conclusion was thatweshouldgo fortheSierra Madelo tothesoutheastofZongolica in the state of Veracruz. Aftermonthsofoften frantic prepara tion, theadvancepartyleft fortheUSA in December 1987. Their jobwastobuytwopickup trucksandpickuptheexpedition freight in Los Angeles before drivingontoMexico.Inthisway,wehopedto side steptheholdupsencounteredwithMexi cancustomsonboththeprevious expeditions.Thistimeeverythingwentsmoothly,andbylateJanuarybasecampwasestablishedina fieldkindlyturnedovertousbythepeopleofthevillageofComalapa.Thelongwaitwasover;nowitwastimetogocaving.Fromtheoutsetofouractivities,theSierraMadelowasourfirst priority.HowardandTimhadnotednumerous"black holes"ontherecce, sonowitwasjust aquestionoffindingtheonethatdroppedone-thousand-plusmeters to river levelandfollowing it. Needless to say,thepracticedidnotquiteliveuptothetheory. Alloverthesierrapeoplebashedshaft after shaft,onlytoreturnwiththesame story.'1tchokes"soonbecamethemost over-usedphraseoftheexpedition. Butwefigured itwasonlyamatteroftime beforewehitthebigone,andgroupscontinuedtoroamthehills seekingouts6tanos grandes.Somediscoveriesweretrulyspectacu lar.TheLostWorldwasahugepitestimatedtobe300by80 metersand150 metersdeepatitsupperend. Atthelowerend,adropof50meterslandedindensejungle,andonlytheperimetercouldbecheckedout,withnoapparentwayon.EquallyimpressivewastheS6tanodeEladio Martinez (alsoknownastheS6tanoGrandedeCerro Chico), astunning220-meterdrop.Sadly, itwasthechoked shaftthattypifiedourdiscov eriesontheSierra Madelo. Eventhedeepestcave exploredbytheexpedition fitted into this category. The S6tanodelosHermanosPeligrososwas391metersdeep,butstill essentially a single shaft consistingoftwohuge, bro ken pitchesof128and186 meters, along75

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76AMATAPECAMCSACTIVITIES NEWSLETTER NUMBER19Base Camp and surrounding AreaRINCONVERACRUZ, MEXICOMOUNTAINS ABOVE 1000m---ROADSRIVERS/,\"\"--

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19with several smaller drops. A month into the expedition,wehadbashed nearlytwohundredshaftsandwere still withouta going cave.Inthe faceofconstant disappointment, morale remained high,butattentionbeganto shiftawayfromthetop of the Sierra Modelo. With the aid of the trucks, the localbusservice,andtwo-legged donkeys (us),webegan to probe the edgesofthe massif.Thechangeofemphasis wastopaydividends.Aroundthebase of the Sierra Modelo,.n\anumberofsignificant rivers posed in teresting questionsandoffered intrigu ing possibilities. For example,theRioAltotongo begins somewhere inthehillsaroundZongohcaandflowssouthinto the Comalapa polje, sinking in a doline choked with centuriesworthofmudandboulders lessthanonehundredmeters fromourbase camp. Some five kilome ters tothesouth, itreappearsattheNacimiento del Rio Altoco before joining the Rio Moyoatempa,thecombined wa ters then crashingdownthevast portal ofElBoqueron. Half a kilometerofwhite water river passagewasexploredtoasumpbyPhilippe Ackermannanda Frenchteam(3).Furtherto the south again, the waters rise to becometheRioTonto, where the resurgence provided 1.5kilometersofsporting exploration for the Belgiansofthe EquipeSpeleodeSaint Nicolasontheir Expe Sous Sierra in 1987(4).Clearly, several notable gaps remained,andwesetabouttrying toplugthem. Between the Comalapa sinkandthe Altoco rising, anumberofcaveswereentered,butnonecould be followed for morethana couple ofhundredmeters,andtherewasnosignoftheloststream way. That was, untilonemorningwhenacertain eminent geologist(whomwewill call Robert North to protecthis real identity) announced thathewas "offtofindtheComalapaMasterCave." Such a statementwastreated with the contemptit deserved until halfanhourlater,whenhereturned to reveal that he had. In themiddleofa maize field, oneofthe locals watched in amusement asBobinserted himself into a "cuevita," alowslot below a small rock outcrop. Thebeddingimmediatelyopenedinto a walk ing-sizepassagewayheadingdownwards. Bob returnedtocamptoram the cynics'wordsdownwith their break fasts. A larger team soon returnedtoC8,orCuevita Chica,toexplore thisgemthathadbeen hitherto concealed rightunderournoses.Abandonedgalleriesandchambers led onwards, until suddenly, in a small alcove off the main passage, a short pitchdroppedinto a clean-washed canyon in jet-black rock. Deep potholesweretraversedonsmall ledges,thesmooth, polished natureofthe rockmak ing this very precarious. Several falls into the pools gave the passage its name, Black Comedy. The cavewasindisputablypartofthemain drainage belowComalapa,perhapsanoverflow,buta significantpartofthejigsaw.Ourhopesofthe master caveweresoon dashed, when a major collapse blocked the streamwayafter a coupleofhundredmeters. The howlingdraughtgaveanindication of thingsbeyondtheBoulder Joke,butas repeated attempts to pass it failed,thelaughs wereonus. Nevertheless, itwasa fine cave inaninteresting location. Furtherdownthe valley, just upstreamoftheTonto resurgence, adrystreambedandsink provided anotherpartofthejigsaw. Cueva Kllnosave was followed for nearly a kilometer to a sizable pitchdowninto a large chamber. Belgian foot printsdampenedtheenthusiasmoftheexplorers, who realizedthatthe Tontonowhadanupperentrance. To the northandeastofthe Sierra Modelo, other notable finds were made. ThevillageofXochiotepechadsome spec tacular shaftsanditsownsumidero. The latterhadvirtually everything:streamways, chambers, lakes,gourhalls, bats, rats,andso on.Onepitch in particular provided amusement (for the onlook ers),asit landed in adeeplake,wheregettingonandoff the ropewasachieved while treading water. Leavingthelakewasthen effectedbyfloundering seal likeupa mudbank. Altogether, another2.2kilometersofgood, sporting cave,butnot the systemwewere really hoping for. Asoursightsturnedfurther afield,onegrouptook a truck ride to the eastern sideofthe sierra. Between the foothillsandthe coastal plain, they foundwhatwasprobably the best"fun"caveoftheexpedition,theNacimientodeSieteAguas.JustnorthofthevillageofXuchilez, awalkalong the railway line bringsyouto a stream cascadingdownintotheRio Blanco, which isblilncoonlyas a resultofthe high concentrationoffrothandfoam from pollutants. Down the embankment, thebulkof the stream is seen to issue fromanen trance the size of a garage door. A briskswimupstreamandthrough the archwayleadstoover a kilometeroflarge streamwaywith loadsofswimmingando50 100 150 200 250 300 350SCALEINMETRES 391SOTANO LOS HERMANOS PELIGROSOS (NOG5)ZONGOUCA,VERACRUZ, MEXICO GRID REF: 233657SCRAGRADE: 5C LENGTI1:531InDEPTH:391In77

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,---..ENTRANCESUMPBLIND.CHAMBER:SUMIDERODEXOCHIOTEPEC (X02)XOCHIOTEPEC, ZONGOUCA, VERACRUZ, MEXICO. GRIDREF:205 670 SURVEYED LENGTH: 2150m SURVEYED DEPTH: 126m N SURVEYORS: M.LUMLEY S.MILNER J.PALMER M.HALE D.NODDING P.SHAWo10 20304050!SCALEINMETRESCHOKE WITHSTRONG DRAUGHTLOWER SERIES NODDY'SUTILECHAMBER::t>s:nVI::t>n::j-0::::-VI t-'tTl::jtTl:;.;,Zi:X:JtTl:;.;,,...

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19SCALEINMETRESSUMPrapids.Oneabandonedside passage con tained somuchzoologythatit was calledtheSafari Park,andanother open leadwasleftunpushedas histo-paranoia pre cludedthepassingofa massive bat roost. A kilometeranda halfofsuperb cave,but,inmuchthesamewayastheSumiderodeXochiotepee, merely a roseamongthethornsofno-goers.Duringthesecond halfofourthree monthsinMexico, smallgroupsbegantoraise their sightstoareas beyondtheimmediatevicinityoftheSierra Modelo. Withtheintentionofcheckingoutthereality (or otherwise)ofthe cav ingpotentialofgood-lookingareas/many morehoursoftravel time were clockedupbytheteam. A rangeofzones were visited with varying degreesofsuccess,buttheoverall resultsmadethis phase ofthetripparticularly productive.Oneofthefirst forays involved a longandarduoustraverseofthevalleyoftheRio Petlapa, from San Jose Petlapa allthewayuptoanexitatChilchotla. Mecha nized local transportthenprovidedtheweary would-be explorers with the meanstocomplete a full circumnavigationoftheSierra Zongolica. Theonlydiscoveryofnotewasa Mazatecamateurgeologist. "Caves? Don/tbesilly. Can/tyouseethatl;:t66GCROSS SECTION 3X PLAN SCALE BCuevita ChicaHOUJardLimbert100 ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS (Bonking MillipedeE Bypass)50!I!!!ITHE WASHING MACHINENACIMIENTODESIETE AGUAS (XC4)XUCHILEZ, VERACRUZ, MEXICO GRIDREF:277762 (CORDOBA) BCRA GRADE: 5B SURVEYED LENGTH: 1448M SURVEYORS:R.SKORUPKAS.THOMASJ.PALMER No79

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AMCSACTIVITIES NEWSLETTER NUMBER19SMALL HOLESUMP100,,.;,'(7-,---.'r'BIG CHOKEWITHSOUNDOFBATSSCALE:Nr>JETRt=.So10 20304050,!I!I ))5)).)))MINI GOURSDRBIGNOSE'S INCREDIBLE EXPANDING ALCOVE SERIESCROSS SECTIONS x 1CUEVA ESCALERA (PE2)PASO ESCALERA. TUXTAPEC. OAXACA. MEXICO.GRIDREF:669 836 BCRA GRADE: 5 SURVEYED LENGTH: SURVEYORS: T.ALLEN M.LUMLEY L.SMETZ J.PALMER S.MILNER R.NORTH J.LONDON4Dm TO CHOKEthere's a localized impermeable noncon formity uplifted tothesouth,thusren deringthestratigraphyinthis area to tally unsuitable fortheresurgencesyouseek.Hereweonlyencounter surface drainage; allthesubterraneanwatercourses flow north. TryatTIacotepee." Had there notalreadybeentwogroups(GSABandSocieteQuebecoisedeSpeleologie)workingintheareaofTIacotepee,theimpressedandsomewhatembarrassedgroupwouldhavegonethere immediately.Indirect contrasttothedisappoint mentofthe PetlapawasatriptoSanFelipe Usila. This idyllic valley liesbeyondthesouthern boundariesoftheSierraMazateca, acrosstheRioSantoDomingoandwelltothesouthofCerroRabOn.The firstgrouptogotherethoughtsomeone waskiddingwhentheyweretold, "Therearen'tanybuses; gotothethe airport." Tuxtepee "International" is a long field,andthelocal airline is a one seat Cessnausedtosupplythevillages intheUsila valley. TherearenoroadsbeyondPaso Novillo,andfrom there it is a ten-hour walk withequipmentto San Felipe. The alternative offor a twentyminuteflightwaseasily chosen, despitetheunorthodoxapproachtoweighingtheplane'spayload-weighequipmentpluspassengers,knock150 kilograms offthetotal,andaddanotherfare-payerortwotothetrip. Flyingintothevalley,wecouldsee limestone cliffsonall sides.Onarrival inSanFelipe, itsoonbecomesapparentthattheisolated locationhaspreservedmanyaspectsofanolderlifestyle.Theimpres sionofatimewarpis heightenedonhearingthecuriousdialectofthelocal Chinantecs. Fortheirpart,thelocalswereintriguedbytheappearanceofthepale skinned strangers intheirvillage,but80

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19The Usila River ValleyOAXACA,MEXICOMOUNTAINS ABOVE 1000m---PATHRIVERSCerroVerdeCerro Mag-IoI'../ Cerro de HojaAloIGU\(\N4SANTO TOMAS TEXAStheywerevery friendlyandpermission to go cavingwassoon arranged. Several siteshadlooked interestingonthe maps,butyielded little.Highabove the village, sinks were marked,butdensevegetationandtemperatures over 1000F prevented their being investigated. A further factor was the discoveryofsig nificant cavesdownbythe river. Three separategroupsvisited the area, each flying inandwalkingoutdownthe river.Aroundeight kilometersofcavewassurveyed, the longest beingCuevaEscalera,4.5kilometers. Thisprovedto be a very interesting cave, as it containedwhatappearedtobea burial chamberaboutonekilometer from the entrance, althoughthejugsandpotteryaroundthe skeletonsperhapsindicate that it could have been a refugethatlater became a prisonandfinally a tomb. Following the expedition, Steve Milnerdidsome re search both in Mexicoandinthe United Kingdomtoattempt toputthese discov eries into perspective.Hebelievesthemto be Mixtec remains from about A.D. 1200-1400.Ifanyonewouldlike more detailed information, his resultsanda photographic record are in the expedi tion report. The overall impressionofeveryone returning from Usilawasthatboth the peopleandthe area were a little bit special, evenbyMexico standards. A less courteous welcomewasin store for the expedition leader shortly afterthefirst Usila trip. Returning to followupa lead from the recce,andcarryingwhathethoughtwasa valid letter of permissiontogo caving,hebegan the explorationofblack holes to the northeastofSanJose Tenango. In fact, it was only a caseofoneblack holebeforethearrivalofthepresidente's men, armed with machetesandpistols.Thethreecaversweremarched several kilometers to themunicipal building in T enangoandlockedupfor a few hours.Theylater found thatpartofthereason for this incarcerationwasBob Cork;heisoflargerthanaveragestature,andthelocalsweren'tcon vinced a pistolwouldstophimifhetriedtoescape, hencethelocked room untilsomerifleswerefound. Eventuallytheywere releasedandputonabusto Huautla,butonlyafter being severelyadmonished for their behavior. Itwasa chas tened,butsomewhatwiser,groupthatreturnedtoComalapa,andthe story is related heretoreinforce the lesson tobelearned:Don'ttakeanythingfor grantedwhenitcomestocaving in Mexico, espe ciallywhenit comestolocal versus re gionalornational permissions. Thismaybeobvious to Mexico veterans,butI feel it isworthrepeatingtosave anyone else havingtogothrougha similar traumatic experience. As a postscripttotheabovestory, Tenangowasvisited again in 1989by81

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19Cueva AguadeMano.HowardLimbertAlan Boxandtheauthor.Despite per mission letters fromUNAMin Mexico CityandINAHinOaxacaandthebless ingofthepresidente,somepeoplewerestillverysuspiciousanddidnotwantusto be there.Whenthisbecame clear,webeat a diplomatic retreattoavoidanyunpleasantness. There remainsmuchtodointhis municipio, even excludingthevast potentialofCerroRabOnandCerro Caballero,butit remains atoughnutto crack.Onlya few kilometersawayfrom Tenango is San Jose Independencia, nes tlingbetweenthemistymountainsandthefertile plain. Ahugeman-madelake, Presa Miguel Aleman,providesa source of water, food,andworkforthelocal peopleandahomefor a hostofexotic birdsandothercreatures. Atthesametime asthetrialsandtribulationsoftheTenango team, three otherswerereapingthe benefitsoftaking aboatrideacross the lake. In CerroCampana,theyweretaken towhatwasarguablythemostimpressive findofthewholeexpedition. CuevaAguadeManowasa large,beautiful,andstunningstream way, stretch ing for three kilometersbelowthemountains. Longswimswereinterspersedwithcalciterampsandgours. Occasional fos sil remnantswerepassed, until finally asumpblockedthewayon. Thiswasfree dived to ashortstreamwayandanothersumpnot considered free-divable. Thoseofuswhoonlysawthephotoscould all be observedwitha green tinge for weeks afterwards. The finalareatobevisitedwasthataroundSoledad Atzompa,tothesouthofCiudadMendoza.Notacommonplace name,youmightthink,butonarrivalinthe village, a multinationalgroupof ex peditionmembersweretoldthattheyhadcome tothewrongplace. Therewasanother SoledadAtzompalessthanten kilometers away. After this false start,theteamfoundsomegoodcave,thelargest being SOL2,twokilometerslongandtwohundredmetersdeep.With only acoupleofweekstotheendoftheexpedition,wewerestillwithouta cavethatcould reallybeconsideredmajor. However,asis oftenthewaywithcaving expeditions,ourlast discovery was tobethemostsignificant intermsoflengthanddepthstatistics.On virtuallythelast tripawayfromtheComalapaarea, agroupset offtoprobethesouthernboundaryoftheSi erra Modelo. Between RanchoNuevoandtheCosolapa-Tezonapa area,thebaseofthesierra remained unchecked.It82wastoobiga questionmarktoleave so close tothemainexped ition area. In mis erable weather,weattemptedtotracewatercourses swollenbydaysofheavyrain,onlytoberewardedwithunenterable springsanda fewminorcaves.Thelocals toldusofcavesontheothersideoftheRio Tonto,andsoitwasthat,morebyluckthandesign,wecrossedtheTontoandheadedwestintothelowerpartoftheCoyolapa valley. Immediatelytheatmospherechanged. A beautiful river flowedbetweenlime stone cliffs,andinthedistancewecouldseetheclassicconekarstoftheHuizmaloc Ocotempa areaworkedbytheGSAB. Thewholeareaexudedthefeelofcaves.UpstreamofTepeyac,ontheeastbankoftheriver,ourlocalguidesstoppedthetruckatapointwherethetrackwascompletelyenclosedbythickundergrowth.Theyexplained thatinthewetseason, a river often flowed acrosstheroadthere. Hackingourwaythroughthebushes,weweresoontofindoutwhy. An entrance 4 meterswideby3meters high, completely invisible fromtheroad,droppeddowntoa pool. Lessthan30 meters fromthetruck,wewereaboutto explorewhatmanyhoursandmilesofwalkinghadfailedtofind.Onanotherdaywewouldhavedrivenstraightpastit;suchisthemargin.... Beyond ashortwadeacrossthepool,abandonedphreatictunnelledawayfromtheriveranddeepintothemountain.Whatwasmeanttobea first quick checkbecamea scarcely-believablesaunterintodreamland.Severalhundredmetersin,thetunnelbrokeinto a superblydecoratedchamber.Througha stal curtain,our"mainpassage"wassuddenlyreducedtoasupportingrole as itraninto amassivetunnel. With major leads inbothdirections,thefirst tripendedhere. The nextday,ateamofsixreturnedtoCuevaYohualapa,whichcontinuedto obligeuswithfull tape-lengthsurveylegs. Almost 4 kilometerswassurveyedalongthetwomainpassagesonthatdayalone. Atoneend,thepassageclosed to a tight slotthatblewa gale,TheHowling.Theotherlimitwasa 2-meter nearlysumpedduckthatwaspassedtoanotherlarge gallery.Noneofthesidepassageshadbeenentered,butalreadythecavewassuretobethemajorfindoftheexpedition.Unfortunatelyfor some, including me,wewereduebackatbasecampthenextday,andreturnflightstoBritain were

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19SCALEINMETRESSOL 1SOLEDAD ATZOMPA VERACRUZ, MEXICO GRIDREF:SCRA GRADE: 5C LENGTH: 490m DEPTH: 122m831020304050I!I ,NSOL2.lS0LEDAD ATZOMPAoMEXICO GRIDREF:5C LENGTH:2253m DEPTH: 205m??

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19Gsecretlyhopedfor,nordidwefind a mega-systemtorankwith the longest in Mexico. But wedidfind many,manysuperbcaves,thememories of which will livewithusformuchlongerthananystatistic. Additionally, each has hisorherownstory about Mexico, a wonderful country. For thosewhoare interested in more details, afullreporthasbeenpublished(5).Fortherest, Ihopethis piece might convey some oftheessenceof(1)T.M.Whitaker,"TheCavesof Chiapas,SouthernMexico,"Cave Science,vol 15,pp51-81, 1988.Anabridgedver sionappearsinAMCS ActivitiesNewsletter 18, 1991,ppSO-58.(2)H. Limbert, ed.,Mexico85/86, 122pp,1986 (expedition report)(3)P.AckermannandG.Rouillon, "Zongolica: 1980-81 French Expedition,"AMCSActivities Newsletter12, 1982,pp59-70.(4)J-CLondonandP. Meus, eds.,ExpeSous Sierra,66pp,1989 (expedition re port).(5)M. Lumley, D. Bradshaw,S. Milner, eds.,Mexico, the Black Holes Expedition,37 pp,[1991](expedition report). Themapsherearereprintedfrom this report.whathappenedontheBlack Holes Expe dition. As forthefuture, it seems unlikelythatsucha largeventurewillleave Britain intheforeseeable future.Inthewakeof various large-scale expeditions,ofwhichtheBritish Mexicotripsarejust a part, thetrendisnowforthesmall, lightweight expedition,whichI personally believe will becomethenorminthe199Os.Suchanapproachhas servedtheGSAB well in Mexicoandhasbeen,andwill continuetobe,verysuccessful forothergroupsaroundtheworld. IdonotdoubtthatMexico will maintain itsstandingashomeofsomeofthefinestcavingtobehadanywhere,andIhopethatBritish cavers willbeabletocontributefurther tothecaving historyofthisremarkablecoun try.VALLEYOFTHE DOLLS ISUMP100150200IIITHEWASTELANDSSCALEINMETRESIII, IIo50Nabout to take precedenceoverexplora tion. Aspartoftheteamleft forhomeandothers set offnorthwardswiththetrucksandfreight,theremainingmembers de terminedtospendtheir last fewdaysatYohualapa.TheHowlingwaspushedas farasa streamwaythatquicklysumped,butthepassagebeyondwhatwasnowasump(ithadrained)intheotherdirec tion ledeverdeeperintothehillside, beforebecomingacomplexthree-dimen sional puzzle.Chambersandinletsandclimbswereall explored, until itwasfeltthere was little lefttodo.Thefinal survey came to nearly8kilometers.Itwasa fitting climaxtoanoutstandingexpedi tion.Ifn total, thirty-five cavers from six coun.H.tries participatedintheexpedition during its threemonthsinthefield. Itwasahugeandcostly undertaking,andtribute mustbepaidtoHowardLimbert for mastermindingthewhole affair.Thatso many people were involved is not indica tiveofa desire tomountabigtripforthesakeofit,butmorea signofthetremendousattractionofcaving in Mexico.Thefact thatitall worked so well is largelyduetothecommitmentofthegroupasa wholeandthetremendousteam spirit that existed throughout. Tosumuptheresults,wedidnot findA ENTRANCE 1C84

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19Expedici6n Hoyos N egrosSUMPCHOKE?OPEN TO OFFERS SERIES NO MEMORIES TONIGHT SERIESSUMP 3C+7mSUCKON THATDUMMYYOU HOLIDAY HEAD SERIESoPCUEVA YOHUALAPATLACOTEPEC DE DIAZ, PUEBLA, MEXICO GRID REF: BCRA GRADE: 5B SURVEYED LENGTH:7820mSURVEYORS: P.IBBERSON H.L1MBERT S.MILNER R.SKORUPKA D.L1MBERTM.LUMLEYB.CORK J.LONDON P.WARD D.BRADSHAW T.ALLEN NCROSS SECTIONSx2a0'\:7ABCDEFGCJ00=Gl0IlH IJKL M N(l<:JAaI:::>CJ0PQRSTU08"\?00DVWXYZA'B'c::JGO00C'D'E'F'G'C 5mMEn elanode1988ungrupoexpedidonario Ingles visit6la SierradeModelo al surestedeZongoliea, Veracruz. Su eampamento fue situadaenla poblaci6ndeComalapa. Eneontrando bastantes s6tanos los euales descendieron, incluyendo el S6tanodeEladio Martinez, conunaprofundidadde220 metros, y el S6tanodelosHermanosPeligrosos,untiroquea1canzounaprofundidadtotalde391metrosdeunamanero escalonada, sin embargo ningunodeestos tiros eonect6 aunsistema. Por10eual se empez6 a explorar con masatend6nlas eavernas horizon tales ydelascuales sedestaearon las siguientes: SumiderodeXoejiotepec,2.2kil6metros, NacimientodeSiete Aguas, 1.5 kil6metros, Cueva Escalero del valledeUsila, 4.5 kil6metros, SOL 2enSoledad Atzompa, 2 kil6metros, yporultimo Cueva Yohualapaenel estadodePueblo con easi 8 kil6metros.NacimientodeSiete Aguas.PaulIbberson85

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19POISONOUSTREESANDTHE PASO REAL PITJohnJ.PintPaso Real (Regal Pass) is a rusticpueblolocated fairlynearthetownof Purificaci6n, Jalisco.Itis collectionofmaybe fifty houseswithdirtfloorsandglasslesswindows,whereyoufind horses insteadofcars (definitelynota one-horsetown),butnota signofside walks, cinemas,orelectricity. Beyond Paso Real lies arangeoflimestone peaks 17 kilometers longand500 to900meters highthattoourknowledgehasneverbeforebeenvisitedbycavers. Localpeopleassuredusthattherewerehumongouspitsontopofthesecerros,and horizontalcaves"decoratedlike a church."So,in Octoberof1990, ZOTZ members JohnandSusyPint,ClaudioChilomer,andJuanBlakedecidedto bravethe90 Fheatand100 percenthumidityandhacktheirwaythroughpathless jungleuptothetop. Actually, it wasmainlyDonGinio,ourwirylittle flip-flop clad, 56-year-oldguidedoingthe hacking,andtherestofustrying to keepupwithhim.Huffingandpuffing,wefinally reachedtheedgeofoneoftheprettiest pitswe'veevercomeacross. Whiletheentrancesandwallsofmanys6tanos areovergrownwithvegetation, thisonepresents a clean,multi-huedfacethattheeyecan follow straightdowntothebottom,51meters below,whereonecould clearly distinguishemptyspaceonall sides, suggestingthatitmightbea skylight entrance to a large roomorpassage. About three-fourthsofthewaydown,wecould seewhatlooked liketwolarge, bright-yelloweggyolks rest ingona slightly recessed shelf. Abetterlook with binoculars revealedthatthese are open-air stalagmites, still growing. Attheedgeof this pitgrowseveralhinchahuevotrees. Thebarkis poisonousandfamed for causing skin irrita tion inanysensitivepartofthebodythatcomes into contactwithit. This does notquiteexplainthenamehinchahuevo(swellsyourballs), since it isunlikelythatanyonebutTarzanwouldcome into such intimate contactwitha tree branch.Bethatas it may,DonGinio suggestedwespitatanytreeweshouldaccidentally touch, to avoid gettingtherash. Idisputetheefficacyofthis remedy, as allofusendedupwithlighttohorrible casesoftheswollen ball itch. Laterwelearnedthata mixtureoflemon juiceandatole,from torti lla flour, does stoptheprogressofthis worse-than-poison-ivy rash. We exploredElS6tanodePaso Realontwosubsequentvisits. Theropeneedspaddingonlyatthelipofthepit,therestofthedistance being free. Asyoudescend,youadmirethecolorfulS6tanodePaso Realwalls, occasionallydecoratedbyflow stone,and,ofcourse,theeggyolks,whichlookawholelotbiggerwhenyou'renexttothem.Thepitwidensasyoudrop,finally bellingoutinto a largeroomabout20metersindiameter.Thespongyfloor is amixtureofbatguanoandsoilwashedinfrom above,uponwhichtwostalagmitesaregrowing,oneofthemfedbyaconstantdripfrom far above.Ononewalloftheroomthere's a spectacular,sparklingflowstone cas cade,andontheothersidea low, narrowcreviceleadsto a smaller, secondroomwithaveryhighceiling. Thisroomalsohasnice decorations, plentyofbats,includingthreesmallgroupsofvampires,andtwolargeholesonopposite sidesoftheroom,maybe25metersabovethefloor.OnMay18, 1991,wesurveyedthepit,andLuis Rojasmanagedto climbthecrumblywalltotheloweredgeofoneofthemysteriousholes. Alas, thisandthehole acrosstheroombothturnedouttobeshallowindentations.AlthoughPaso Real Pit is nottheentrancetoa system, its features suggestthatthePurificacionlimestonerangemayhavemuchtooffer inthefuture, ifwecanjustavoidtheswollen ball trees.Espele6logosdelgrupoZOTZvisitaronunanuevaareacalcareaenlascercaniasdePurificacion,Jalisco,mapeandoasielS6tanodePasoRealconunaprofundidadde51metros.Dichotirocontieneunescurrimientosobreunadelasparedesyunsalonenunpasajesecondario,elcualcontienevariasformacionesymurcielagos,incluyendovampiros.86

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19EISotano de Paso RealPurificaci6n, JaliscooN 5meters10PLANTAplanTIROdrop51mPERFILprofIle'?'I.ITrabajo realizado con brujula y cinta (compass and tape survey)1991 V18Susana Pint, Juan Blake, Luis Rojas, John Pint dibujado pro (drawn by) J. Blake y J. PintTheEyeintheSkyRoom87

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19RolfAdams1965-1992OnSundayafternoon, April 19,1992, Australian cave explorer Rolf Adams died in Hole intheWall spring near Marianna, Horida, in a cavEXliving accident. Adams wasoneoftheworld's leadingdeep-cave explorers.Hehadcome to the United States at the endofFebruarytojoinaninternational team thatwastraining forthe1993 San Agustin ExpeditiontoHuautla, Oaxaca, Mexico. The teamhadsuccessfully completedtwomonths of cave-diving training at hyperbaric re search facilitiesandatJackson BlueSpring,usingcomputer-controlledrebreathers,andwasin the processofpackingupwhenAdamsandteam-mate Jim Smith decidedtotouroneofthe many nearby springs prior to Adams's departure for Australia that afternoon, usingstandardopen-circuit cave-diving apparatus. Theywerereturning to the entrance from a 365-meter penetration into the cavewhenAdams developed difficultybreathingat adepthof30 meters. Despite a heroic effortbySmith to assist,Adamspassedoutanddrownedwithin60metersofthe entrance. Medical studies later indicated that hehadsuf fered an arterial gas embolism. Adamswasbestknowntocave exploration teamsaroundtheworld for his pioneeringworkin thedeepcaves of Oaxaca, Mexico, although his capabili ties were also wellknownin European circles, in his native Australia,andinNewZealand. Rolf gained fame in 1987 in the Chilchotla highlandsofOaxaca as a protegeofAustralia's premier vertical caver, Alan Warild.Hewas quickly rec ognized asanoutstandingteamplayerandbegan working with the American team exploring Cueva Cheve.Hebecame a prime force in establishing it as the deepest cavern in the Western Hemi sphere.Inthespringof1989, Rolfwasthe catalyst behindmanybreakthroughs in the Cheve system.Ona three-day blitz fromCampII,heandJim Smith pio neered the intricatepathleadingoutof the Hallofthe Restless Giants thatwasthe crucial route thatopenedupthe vast discoveries to follow. A week later, he ledBobBenedictandmeback through this sectiontowhere we ultimately discov ered the Black Boreholeandwhatwas then the deepest point in Cheve, at -1125 meters. Rolfwasalso the driving force behind a 4O-hour marathonpushthatsuccessfully linked the 887-meter-deep88Rolfwasintopform.Heacquired the highest levelofcave-diving certificationandthenwentontolearn about experi mental rebreathers.Heamazedeveryonewithhis abilitytograspcomplexnew tasksandthenputthem into practice. After discoveringduringa dive a prob lemwithoneoftheelectronic display systemsontherebreather,hecalmly satdownone afternoon in a hammock at basecampwithaprintoutofthe sixteenthousandlinesofcodethatranonthe onboardcomputer. That evening he took aside the engineerwhohadwritten the codeandpolitely pointedoutthe prob lem.Bythe time the training exerciseswereover, Rolfhadthe ability to confidentlycarryouta four-hour rebreather cave-dive,swimminga total distance of nearly four kilometersunderwaterintheprocess.Andhecoulddothatevery day,PhotobyBill Stoneor,asheoftendid,simplyserve as the OstodePuente NaturaltoCuevaCheve, safetydiverforanothermember of the afeatthataddedsignificantlytothe overteam,usingtraditional Scuba.Hewas alldepthandlengthofthe system. Iamequallyateaseunderwaterwith what quite certain that everyone involved ineverapparatuswasneeded. That Rolf that trip, both from the PuenteandCheveshouldbetaken fromuswhileona tour sides, has clear memoriesofRolf's cheeristdivefollowingthiscomplex work ful character even whenthegoingwasseems terribly unfair. Butsuchcruelirony grim.Onareturnexpedition,inthespring iscommoninourworld.Itis much like of 1990, Rolf was a memberoftheteamthecrackHimalayanclimbing team that that first establishedCampillat-1050 isreturningfrom itsmostdangerous ex meters and explored and surveyed Cheve peditionwithouta scratch,onlyto lose to a depth of -1364, establishing it as the one ofits bestmemberswhile boulderingworld'ssixth-deepest cave.Hewasalsoonthehikebacktocivilization. one ofonlythree people to havemadea Theodore Roosevelt,oneofAmerica' a day-trip toCampillin Cheve, a thirtymost charismatic presidents, once said, hour, twenty-kilometer round trip to 1050 "Far bettertodaremightythings than to meters below the Cheve entrance. takerankwith thosewholive in the gray A Yosemite-elass5.11rock climber, twilight thatknowsnotvictorynorde kayaker, and long-distance runner, Rolf feat." Rolf embodiesthatcredo,andin was to have participated in the annual24-his brief timeonourplanethelived ahour"Rogaining"overlandrunningricher lifethanallbutaveryfew will ever event held inNewSouth Wales, Austraknow.Andheleftourworld,andall he lia, following his return from the training touched, a greatdealricher in spirit. Al mission in Horida.thoughhewasonlytwenty-six years old, Rolf earned his masters degree inap-hewasoneofthefinestind ivid uals I have plied mathematicsatthe Universityofeverknown.California at Berkeley in 1989andwastoIfthereweretobeanepitaphfor Rolf, begin workonhis PhD in Belgium folit should read:''Hewasa quick study, a lowing the returnofthe San Agustin jackofall trades,andgoodateveryoneof Expedition.Hewasa brilliantcomputerthem.Hewastheultimatemodemex scientistandhad recently completed a plorer, bright, athletic, ateamplayer you one-year sabbaticaldevelopingcomcouldcountonwhenthechips were puter-vision protocols attheCSIRO Ap-down.Hewasneverata loss for a smile plied Mathematics BranchofAustralia'soragoodjoke,andhealways carriedNationalResearchLaboratoriesinmorethanhis fair share." We,yourfel Sydney.lowexplorers, saluteyou. Godspeed, Rolf During March and Aprilofthis year, Adams.-BillStone

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19DIRECTORY OF MEXICAN CAVING GROUPSCompiled by Peter Sprouse. Pleasereportchanges to the AMCS,Box7672, Austin, Texas 78713.DISTRITO FEDERAL Sociedad MexicanadeExploraciones Subterraneas Ramon Espinasa Peref\a Fuentedela Peninsula#19Tecamachalco 53950, Mexico tel. 251-29-86 Asociacion Base Draco Jose Montiel Castro ManuelF.Soto No.131Colonia Constituciondela Republica 07460 Mexico, D.F. tel. 7-57-76-76GrupoEspeleologico Universitario Francisco Ruiz Benjumeda HeroesdePaderna No. 142 Tacubaya 11870, Mexico, D.F. Cruz Roja Mexicana Escuela NacionaldeEspeleologfa Arturo Montero Garcia Luis Vives No. 200 Polanco, Mexico, D.F. tel. 395-11-11 ext.106GrupoExpedicionarioCalle 13 No. 10 Colonia Porvenir, Mexico IS,D.F.tel. 556-88-04 EscueladeGuias AlpinistasdeMexico, S.c. Jose Luis BetetaBeteta Av. Baja California No.200Mexico,D.F.06760 AsociaciondeExcursionismo del Instituto Politecnico Nacional Ricardo Arias Fernandez Av. OthOndeMendizabal Ote. #20-264 Col. La Patera Vallejo Mexico,D.F.07710 tel. 5-87-17-23GrupoGeoAna Martha Sabirio No. 262 Col. Santa Ma.dela Ribera Mexico,D.F.Asociacion AlpinadeMexico Sergio Zambrano Las Huertas 93-C Colonia del Valle 03100 Mexico, D.F. tel. 4-58-3035 Asociacion Mexicanade Buceoen Cuevas Angel Soto Porrua Av. Presa Don Martin21Col. Irrigaci6n 11500 Mexico,D.F.GrupoEspeleol6gico Mexicano JorgedeUrquijo Tovar Salonica#233Col. Electricistas Mexico,D.F.tel. 3-%-16-36 GUERRERO Asociacion BaseDraco-AcapulcoMarcos Alfonseca Huerta Farall6n160BCol. Farallon del Obispo Acapulco, Guerrero tel. 4-15-15 JALISCO Espeleoclub ZOTZ John Pint Apartado 103CP45010 Cd. Granja, Jalisco tel. 13-94-43 (Guadalajara)NUEVOLE6NClub Alpino Espeleologico TresdeMonterrey Federico AguilarApartadoPostal 59 Monterrey,NuevoLeOntel. 43-34-36 SAN LUISPOTosfAsociacion PotosinodeMontat\ismo y EspeleologiaFeEpe Moreno Verdi No. 140 Col.HimnoNacionalc.P.78280 San Luis Potosi, San Luis Potosi tel. 2-14-85 TABASCOGrupodeExploraciones SubterraneasdeTabasco Victor Dorantes GregorioMendez1110, Piso 4 Esq. Ruizdela Pena Villahermosa, Tabasco tel. 931-55592 YUCATANGrupoActunoob EnriqueDuhneBackhauss Calle 6a. No. 164 X 13 Col. PradoNorteMerida, Yucatan tel. 27-78-67--89

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AMCSACTIVITIESNEWSLETTERNUMBER19AUTHORSINTHIS ISSUEAlan Cressler5890Long Island DriveNWAtlanta, Georgia 30328MilesDrake 10810 Joyceton Court Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772 Louise Hose Dept. of GeologyandEarth Science University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Colorado 80933 Paul Ibberson18Market Street Broadbottom Cheshire SK14 6AX United KingdomJoeIvy4019Ramsgate San Antonio, Texas78230Oliver Knab Bandlistrasse 37 8064 Zurich Switzerland Mark Minton 515 Limestone Land Driftwood, Texas78619John Pint Apartado103CP45010Cd. Granja, Jalisco Mexico Peter SprouseBox8424 Austin, Texas 78713BillStone 7739 Latonia Drive Derwood, Maryland 20855 Alan Warild41NorthwoodStreetNewtown2042 AustraliaDrawingbyRaulPuente Martinez90


Description
Edited by Bill Mixon, 90 pagesContents: Mexico
News, compiled by Bill Mixon --
Long and Deep Cave Lists, compiled by Peter Sprouse --
Excursions in Arroyo Grande, Chaipas / Miles Drake --
Cueva del Tecolote Expeditions / Peter Sprouse --Cueva
Cheve and Sierra Jurez / Louise Hose --
Proyecto Montemayor / Joe Ivy --Stano de Lutevio / Alan
Cressler --
Cave Diving in Mexico / Oliver Knab --Santa Ana '90
Expedition / Alan Warild --
The British Black Holes Expedition / Paul Ibberson
--Stano de Paso Real, Jalisco / John Pint --
Obituary: Rolf Adams / Bill Stone.
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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