Niugini Caver

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Niugini Caver

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Niugini Caver
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Niugini Caver
Papua New Guinea Cave Exploration Group
Port Moresby, PNG: Papua New Guinea Cave Exploration Society (PNGCEG)
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Regional Speleology -- Newsletters
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New Guinea -- Papua New Guinea -- Oceana

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Australian National University
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" • •• to etand on 1200 • or, li•••tona 1nd 111ten NlUGI NI CAVER VOLUME 4 Nllt'18R 3 85 Niugini Cave,J; is the newsletter of the Papua New Guinea Cave Exploration Group, an informal association of per sons engaged in spe lec:ilogy in P. N .G. Volume 4 Number 3 Price Editor Typist Map drafting Photograph,! Production of last nunber November. 1976. Quarterly This issue K3.00 or $A3.00 R. Michael Bourke, D.P.I., East New E'rltair., Papua New Guinea. Jean Bourke John Webb and Lex Brown Lex Brown, Michael Bourke and Paul Wilson Michael and Jean Bourke, Jim Farnworth, Hal Gallasch, Randell Champion, Anna Majdanska, Alan Olden and Tim Sprod CONTENTS Page The Story of Sisida and Tengtengba. L. Ismel ••••••••••••••••••••••••••• B6 Lelet: Report of the 1975 Nell.1 Ireland Speleological Expedition .• A. L. Brown, R. M. Bourke and C.H.C. Shannon •••••••••••••••••••••••••• 87 The New Contributors Overview of the expedition •••••••••••••••••••••••• Sotpela •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Introduction ••••.•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Diary ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Physiography •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Cave descriptions ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Logistics ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Conclusions ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Acknowledgements •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 1 •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Appendix 2 •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• References •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• • * * * 97 87 89 94 102 107 129 I 133 134 135 136 136 136 Editorial note_. This special edi tian of Niugini Caver is devoted to last year's Lelet expedition. It is funded in part by a K200 donation from the memben; of' the expedition. * * * Cover photogra2h. John Webb and Lex Brown tandem prussiking the entrance pitch of Lowatkusmeri lemet Silot, the deepest cave explored by the 1975 NISE (102 m). Lex is travelling incognito behind John's glove. * * *


I l t!IUGIN I CAVER VOLLflE 4 NUl"lBE:R 3 THE STORY OF SISlDA AND TENGTE.NGBO Lakuna I smel * The following legend illustrates the Lelet villagers' belief that it is possible to travel the 1 OOO m or so vertical distance from the plateau to the New Ireland coast underground. •••••••••• Up on the Le let Plateau, there were once two men who were hunting companions; their nanes were Sisida and Tengtengbo. Sisida wee mart ! d but Tengt ngbc was not and rather fancied Sisida' s wife. Tengtengbo decided to m urder Si side, nd devi s.;d a trap by coveI'ir1g a cave mouth with leaves. The cave :la t L mlad which is near Lenkamin village. When he and Sisida taiere 1'eturn from th 1 hunt, Tengtengbo invited Sisida to sit on the trap. Sisida fell in, and Tengtengbo 1 1;1 ft 'him there and went off to the wife and told her how Sisida hed met with c:1n un for-tunate accident. Tengtengbo promptly m arr ieid her. Sisida however the fall and followed the water in t h e cave right through to the coast. In places the cave was too tight but Sisida waited till hi8 skin had shrurrk and could fit through. He came up in e in the cove at Ll:>mPrls where t .he. local people .get their water. This place ha s a single big st.1H1E in .it. like a table. Sisida was seen in the water by the local children who told their parents of the strange -sight on the tabla roci<. in the water. The men nf the village cane and pulled Sisida out. He was weak from in the water so long. He stayed with them for a few days till his strength returned. The people smoked him over a fire tu dry him out. Then he went up the plateau . I pl.oying on a bamboo instrument in his usual manner. Hls 1 1 1 i fe heard him coining and warned TengtenQbo to hide in one of the piles of n1bbish i11 the garde,.... he had be,en clearing. Sisida asked the wife who had bee n doing all the rnan' s work in the garden. She said it was everybody, but Sisirfa n' t c ;onvino d, He orde:ted her to light the rubbish piles. Since she left tha T n t n w h in till last, Sisida went up to that pile with a ston T n nd kill d him. In this way he got hie wife t.acl< , . p * l enkanin village, Lelet Plateau, c/Un I ll vieng, P.N.G. NIUGINI CAVR VOLUME 4 NUVIBCR 3 87 LELETs REPORT Of THt 1975 Nrw IRELAND SPLCOLOCICAL EXPEOITlON . A. L. Brown*, R. Bourke** and C.H.C. Shannon*** OVERVIEW Of THE EXPITICIN An eight man party spent s month exploring caves on the Lelet Plateau or New Ireland in July-August, 1975. Althougt1 the aim or exploring very deep caves was not achieved, the party regarded the expedition as successful. Exploration was in three areaes the Lenkanin-Lii t-Li1t1bin regic• n of the village area of the plateau the N.W. corner of the high plateau and briefly on the northeast coast of New ' Ireland. Sane 92 caves and shafts were explored, 20 in the village area, 70 on the high plateau and 2 on the coast. The four deepest caves descended were 102 m, 81 m, 66 m, and 60 m deep respectiveh. Thirteen caves ovet 25 m deep were explored seven in the village area and six on the high plateau. The lcngest pitch was 81 m. The two longest caves, both river caves in the village area, were 500 m and 330 m long respectively. Tags were affixed to 46 caves. All except two of the inccmpletely explored caves from the two reconnaissance trips were bottomed. All caves explored on the plateau were pushed to the limit. Some legends, hunan bones and cave art were recorded. The LelF 1 t has now been established as a worthwhile vertic8l caviri9 The trip was remarkably problem free with virtually no transportation, carrier or medical problems. Above all it was most enjoyable. .Q!!'EL A TO I< TC K lnsait long dispela buk mipe.lc1 givim tok save long wanpeh1 wok mipeh1 i bir1 mekim long lelet long Niu Ailan long yia 1975. Plipela ei tpelE• itiin stap wan mun long Lelet long lul

• I 1 1 88 CAVER 4 NUMBER 3 Michael Bourke (Leader) Agronomist Paul Wile.on Electronita Engir.. CCC/HCC Leigh Gleeson Geomorphology student scs PrJCCEG/UQSS :i in1 r ar-nwortti Fi t.ter & Turr;er Pl\:GC[G/HWCPC Henry Shannon Geologist UUSS/SUSS John Webb Geologist uuss Lex Brown ( ' 1 Civil Engineel' SS/PNGCE:G Malcolm Pound Civil Engineer PNGCEG/UOSS CCC •••••• Chillagoe Caving Club (Queensland) HEG •••••• Harwe.11 Exploration Grou p ( E: n l r u:I ) t y . ocie ty ueensland Society NIUGINI CAVER VOlllr1E 4 NUl118(R 3 89 ") Part of the Lelet Plateau of New Irals.nd is an ert:•a of some 400 km'of tertiary limestone at an altitude of BOO m to 1400 m a.s.1. The drt:linage of the area is underground and the water resurges in or near the sea on the northeast coast a few kilometres away. The depth potential for caves on the plateau is as high as 1400 m and is over 1200 m for much of the plateau (see Figure 2). It was the combination of depth potential and relatively easy access that. our attention to the plateau. In April 1974 Michael Bourke and Alan Keller did a 10 day trip to the plateau to investigate the caving potential. They operated in the vicinity of Lowatkana and lenkamin villages. In 5 caving days they vis ited 30 caves, 5 of which were over 30 m deep and 4 of which they were unable to bottom because of lack of gear (Bourke, 1974). following this the expedition was conceived. A series or meetings to org anize it were held in Brisbane and Chillagoe (North Queensland) in May and December, 1974 and January, 1975. It was resolved that Michael Bourke would lead the expedition and would be responsible for food and gettir1g the party and equipment from Rabaul to the plateau. Lex Brown was to be ttle co-leader and was responsible for equipment and transportation to RabatJ1. John Webb \iJas tc handle the medical aspects. The other members were to assist preparHtions in various ways. The aim was to explore and docunent deep cave systems .. In January 197:,, Jim Farnworth and Kevan Wilde did a second reconnaissance trip to the plateau to obtain more information onaccess, transportation and caves. They managed to explore another 15 caves, but were seri ously hanpered by very wet con ditions. They spent a few days on the high pla.teau and gained a lot of useful information for the main trip (Wilde, 1975). A flight over the plateau was made in Apri.l which yielded further information, although it ended in an unconven tional manner when the plane crash landed in the sea after engine failure. The pilot and Mike in the front seats had some FigurH 2. The drc.matic drop off from the edge of the pleiteau to the northeost coast trouble getting out from the cabin underwater, but there were no injuries (Bourke, 1975). During 1975, expedition preparations jointly at Keravat (New Britain) and Brisbane, Australia. Plembers paid attention to fi. t nsss and practice with single rope caving techniques. Each member deposited K200 in a bank account and signed a legal agreement whereby the cost of an emergency evacuation could be met from this fund if necessary. The money was refunded after the


90 NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 4 NUMBER 3 The members were Michael Bourke (Keravet), Lex Brown (Brisbane), Jim rarn worth (Rabaul), Leigh Gleeson (Townsville), l'lalcolm Pound (Port Moresby}, Henry Shannon (Brisbane), John Webb (Brisbane), and Paul Wilson (Chillagoe) (see page ea). Most of the equipment and the donated food was shipped from Brisbane to Rabaul in July. The Australian and Port l'loresby contingent flew to Rabaul on 23rd to 25th July. Our first base was at the Bourke residence at Keravat. Here food and equip•ent were packed f'or the air drop. However unusually windy conditions were to prevent the pUnned airdrop and gear was eventually carried in b y plantation labour and the Lelet village people. Half of the party flew f"ro1n Rabaul to Kaniriba at the base of the plateau on the New I re land coaet on 25th July. The remainder travelled with the gear by truck to Vunapope on New Bri tein, by wor k boat to Labur on the, west coast of New Ireland and thence by truck to Lanerike Plantation. Lamerika served as our base on the New Ireland coast. By bulldozer, a"d trailer we were transported part of the w ay up to the plateau on a newly constructced road (see f'igure 4). from the end of" the road, all gear was carried to our ca1nps (see Figure 5). lt took only four d ays fran when the sec• ond party left Keravat un t i l caving commenced. This can be compared with one to many weeks for earl! r P.N.G. speleolog ical expeditions. The first few days ori tlile plateau were devoted to establishing the air drop site, finding a place for the b aae camp and r econnai ssance of the high plateau. The base camp was established at Liit and we operated as two parties of four out or this camp for the first figure 3. Cone shaped hills near limbin Village week's caving. In the second week a four man party •oved up to Laranbut on the edge of the high plateau and caved in this area another party operated in the Liit and L e nkemin areas. In the final week of caving bot h parties rejoined and the La ranbut canp was expanded. Again we mostly worked in two parties or four. The composition of the parties was rearre1nged several ti•es during the expedition so all members caved with every one else at SOiie stage. A daily redio schedule was kept with Civil Defence personnel in Rabau1. The entire party and equipment moved from the high plateau to the coast on 18th August. After a day on the coast we travelled by truok, boat and truc k bacl< to Keravat. F'our of us had another flight over the pleteeu to look at where we had been. f"rcm Kerevat everyone dispersed nd th was shipped back to Brisbane,, The cost of the expedition ex Rabeul, including 1<200 fo:r publication, was K1, 485. Air fares to Rabaul totalled K 1 ,63 . .' v n a total of K3,120.; 37 38 I Pana k ondo I 621 TBISMARCK 1 : 250 OOO .o __ ...e: _ 5===1 ___ 15 km l I . I 0 200 400 t::::1===-k m 91 39 40 I Map 1 I PACIFIC OCEAN -t65 Konogusgus PumHill D -L1 a rea covered by Map 2 a rea covered by Map 3 grid & contours from 1 : 250,000 Narnatana1 sheet Al.B .


92 NIUGI NI C A VER VOLUMf: 4 NUMBER 3 . CAVES LOCATED ON MAPS 2 AND 9 Cave tag Cave or depression nane (1) Grid reference (2) L25 L27 L31 L36 L37 . L38 to L39 L40 to L42 l4:3 L44 L45 L46 l47 to L49 L S O L51 L52 L53 L54 L55 . l56 l57 L58 to l59 'L6t( . L62 l63 L64 to l66 L67 L68 L69 L70 ' L71 l72 L73 L74 L75 l76 L77 to L78 L79 Leo l81 Kanimetlavau Awatbunbun Pleruklu 1 Lanangwat in LARANBUT I in LARANBUT IV in LARANBUT IV Kabotlabangabang 1 Kabot.labengabang 2 Kanimbigim K anmeroborund a in SOKAKUP I Sep818 Putladung Pesolik Lakare in LOWATKUSl'IERI I Lowatkuaneri Lemet Silot Bulu Le111atura ' 1 in VII Lenbinbin Lanbelubung Ninggelau. Plerukl 2 in LA RANBUT I in LARANBUT III in LARANBUT II in LCNKASO I in LA RANBUT VI in LARANBUT VI in LENKASO II in LARANBUT V in LARANBUT V in LENEVIT III in LENE VI T IV in LABUNGKALABUS in LErJKASO in LE NKI NDUGUDU in LNKASO I 805331 811325 8.44330 835357 842365 845367 846368 847 .329 047329 831324 828329 861323 841325 818317 806337 about 1 km west 86-36-86-36-834343 828343 842372 331 842337 844330 9403 67 843368 839369 8 5 2366 846364 847362 854368 849365 847366 850358 857356 85-368 5-36-8 5-36-853368 ( 1) Cave names in small letters; karst depression nanes in capitals (2) Grid references follow the 1a50 OOO Cape Lemeris sheet of Lempatnas lElll Pllllll lllllGI 1111 SUN'ON name of Lorge are a ("big name") LIM BIN princ;pol village name Lavalos name of small village or Locali zed area c r e e k bed o r a xis of depression. generally dry ' .,_ __ ,,, .. ---wvvv 0 L45 L5 4 F . * position accura te} tracks and tra.tticable routes position approx . a s known to N 15[ 1975 approxima t e geologic a l boundary rim of high plate au (above 1.200 m a.s.l.) cove locality and number cpp r o x imate c ave l o cation isol ated house first a i d post Grid from 150.000 coconut tre e Cape Lem e ris Sheet village spring 1975 NJSE . camp Jalau Volcanics (uncleared) unclearedJ cleared Lelet Limeston e ALL spellings of plac e name s follow Pidgin pronunciation 5 • 35 ' (to r 197 5 ) jNJS E . 1 9 75l C ompiled : H. Shannon! Drawn fu!iliJ 93


H . I CAVER \/O LUME 4 3 To the Lelet. Wednesday 23rd July to Wednesday 30th July. On Wednesday 23rd July, Jim flew to New Ireland and the first of the Australian members arrived in Rabaul. Thursday was devoted to packing for the airdrop at the Bourkes' place. At first light on Friday morning the advance party flew out of Rabaul in a Cessna 1 BO, but after 10 minutes in the air it was to _abort the f"light because of heavy cloud cover over New Ireland. Jim blalked up to the plateau from Lanerika. On Saturday, agai.n at first light,. the advance party of Lex, John and Her.ry took off in a Cessna 207. Paul and Leigh llJElre also on board. The south western escarpment of _the 1200 m plus plateau was an incredible sight rising from the almost non-existent coastal plain. Very windy conditions restricted reconnaissance to several high level circui ta over what looked to be a suitable dropsi te, just east of what was taken to be Limbin village. Paul and Leigh flew back to Rabaul. The advance party were met by Dave Larkin, the plantation manager from Lamerika, who breakfasted them and loaded the party on to a D6C bulldozer. With nine bodies and six packs strapped and hanging from the bull dozer, they trundled for an hour to about 600 m altitude to the head of the ne . w Le let roadway ••. the only way to go cavingl f"igure 4. The bulldozer and trailer of gear head up the LelPt road from the coast Jim bias waiting at the roadhead. With three cae-r iers, the four cavers set off for Limbin carrying supplies for four days and the radio. Pleasure at the easy three hour walk 1 turned to despair when it was realized that the on-the-ground Limbin was not the from-the-air Limbin. A further 1i hours walk took the party to the first Aid Post at Lenkanin where canp was established. Lenkamin was recognized as the village near the dropsite. On the way in the party became very aware of the extreme water shortage on the plateau and that a watersource would be the determin ant in selecting a base camp site (see f"igure 12). Relating the day' s walking to the aerial that night led Henry to discover that Lenkanin village was marked on the H 50 OOO Cape Lemeris map as Limbin, and the true limbin village was not shown at all. There was much excitement as the party traced their tracks and sorted out the geography on the as.rial photograph. On Sunday morning Lex and Henry went with Plichael, a local school teacher, to examine the water supply near his hamlet, Lowasama. He first led them to a small strean about 40 minutes east of Lowasana which is perhaps the NIUGINI CAVER 4 NUMBER 3 only permanent surface strean on the plateau. The story was told that the villagers kept the existence of this supply a secret from the Japanese during the occupation in World War II. The party then travelled the short distance to Liit where a suitable campsite was located about 50 m up-valley frcm a trickle spring which filled a gallon container in just over s minutes. In the afternoon Lex and Henry set up markers, fires and the radio at the airdrop site. John and Jim had set out that morning for a look at the high plateau east of Limbin in the hope of locating a water supply for a base camp in that area. They followed the sane track that Kevan and Jim had done on the second reconnaissance trip. They quickly exanined three dolines on the high plateau, all of which had entrances. No water supplies were found. Back at the First Aid Post, the advance party were met by Lakuna I smel who had assisted both the reconnaissance parties. Lekuna was to prove invaluable to the expedition. Also waiting was Lepan from lowatkana village, the councillor for lelet. That night teachers and boys from the Lenkamin school entertained the party with guitars. The winds which had been blowing constantly since the advance party had flown in had been dropping throughout the day. At 5.30 a.m. Monday everyone tramped out to the airdrop site to await the drop. No plane. By 9 a.m. John, Jim and Lex abandoned the airdrop to Henry's care and set off to reconnoitre the high plateau east of Bungaring, again with the object of locating a base camp. With Thomas Palait from Bungaring as guide, the three climbed up the escarpment to an old garden on the edge of the high plateau about half an hour from Bungaring. From there it was a forced walk, firstly east over country with negligible doline development and apparently heavy soil cover. There appeared to be few holes close to the track and on brief inspection, these appeared to be blocked. Thomas gave his opinion that most holes were to be found either to the northwest or near to the water supply where he was leading the party. The party then travelled in a southerly direction through an area where there was stronger gully developmente The permanent water supply at Lababat was 2f hours hard walking from the top of the escarpment above Bungaring. The water trickles in many places from cliff of a large flat-floored 111tphi theatre. It was only a half hour's walk southwest to the escarpment of the high plateau then a two hour slog down ridge and gully to Liit. A likely looking cave entrance, Lenbinbin (L61) , was spotted near Liit. Betore dragging up the last hill to the First Aid Post; spirits were raised by gifts of stiilwarm taro. Gifts of' taro were to be part of the villagers' continuing gener osity. But it was not the villagers alone who met the advance party. The main expedition party was there too. They had bulldozed and walked up that day. The airdrop had been abandoned and all c2r90 had been carried up to Limb in. Two days previously back at Keravat, packing was completed. On Ren renmore's advice that high winds were likely to continue, and with new knowledge of the Lelet roadblay, l'like decided not to airdrop. Gear was tra.nsferred to a workboat at Vunapope and at midnight the party left Keravat for the boat trip to New Ireland. Beginning an expedition by travelling through tropical waters by moonlight was most pleasant. Dave Larkin met the party at Labur Bay and transported them the 100 km to Lanerika by truck. The rest of Sunday was spent swimming in the Dalun resurgence, drinking, eating and sleeping.


NIUCINI CAVER VOLUME 4 NUMBER 3 Next morning with the bulldozer towing a trailer, a large and motley collection of .cavers, carriers and gear made its way up the Lelet roadway (see r1gure 4). tram the roadhead the carriers took the gear as far as Limbin and the cavers walked to the rtrst Aid Post (see figure 5). Tuesday 29th July'was camp building day at Liit. Leigh and ten carriers went to Limbin to ferry the thirty odd loads on to Liit. They decided to shift the cargo in two trips instead of three and the line, including Leigh, stunbled into canp each carrying incredibly heavy double loads of 40 kg or more. Building the camp made for an exhausting day, but not long after nightfall the basics were finished. Wednesday was devoted to fin ishing the canp and resting. John and Jim were to start caving and with Thomas they investigated Lenbir"lbin (L61). They bottomed the first pitch (20 m) • Figure 5. Carriers arriving at Limbin Thomas then guided them to another cave, Ninggalau. They entered this rainwater inflow cave, which was dry, only a short distance and on returning to the surface were surprised to find that a heavy downpour was rapidly filling the cave with water • . Looking around the canp we could not see where all the weeks of organization had baen required. All seemed very simple and easy. Items on which most pre-expedition labour had been expended seemed inconsequential. The whole perty was f.i t, happy' and eager. The absence of' concern about the walk. out , unlike the Muller and Ora expeditions, meant that there could be full concen tration on caving. -l'lost of' us read and rested in the af'ternoo..n sunshine • . Wefk one -in the village area. Thursday 31 st July to Sunday 3rd On Thursday 31 st July, f'like, Henry, Leigh and l'tal were guided by Lakuna to Kananeroborunda (1..46), a river cave with passages of mostly stooping size (see !"taps 4 and 5). During floods, big sto.nes are apparently rolled up steep gradi"" onts in the passageways. The party left after e>

98 NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 4 Nl.Jl"IB(R 3 a bolt on the second pitch. Walking was taking too much time, so that after a return to Lii t on Wednesday, it was decided to shift canp back to the F'irst Aid Post at Lenkamin. On Thursday Manase Manangong, the guide, took the party to a supposed river cave, but it turned out to be only a single chamber 33 m by 24 m with a continuous water from the roof. Another Manase cave that day was also to prove disappointingly small. At Lenkamin that night the party was rejoined by Lex from the high plateau camp. He had returned to discuss plans for the last week. On friday one last cave was investigated west of Lempatnas ham let, but the shaft (LS3) at 17 m. The village party then returned to. the Liit-base camp and were joined by the high party-.-On the previous Monday the high plateau party of Lex, Henry, Paul and Leigh had carried heavy packs out of Liit. After an unscheduled stop near Limbin where they vainly looked for runoured caves, they pushed on to the high plateau behind Limbin. A comfortable temporary camp was established in less than an hour on the edge of the high plateau a5 laranbut. The site was colder (an early morning temperature recording was 18 C) and windier than the village area.-The ground was a spongy mass of roots and leaf litter and very pleasant to canp on. Next day exploration or the incredibly dissected high plateau began (see figure 7). The party dropped down off the canpsite ridge into the first karst depression. It was a very elongated valley, more than 600 m long. There were eight holes along the axis and all were 1 explored (L3?, L65 and L66 tagged). Only L65 and L66 were more than 50 m deep. The caves were often filled with splash corroded rockpiles, and both the walls and the rubble were pitted and very sharp. On Wednesday 6th August surface exploration continued, this time northwards along the escarpment. rigure.6. Trek to a cave -village The guides, Thomas and Steven Gainu, area claimed they did not know the area and this made navigation difficult. Off the ridges, track cutting was often necessary. Although pacing and cornpass traversing, the party walked a figure of eight (partly intentional), and in the day could hardly have been more than a kilometre from camp. Only one new depression was investigated, but six entrances were checked out. On Wednesday, the party struck out in a northeasterly direction and traversed the short distance to the escarpment overlooking Dalun. Some clearing or the jungle produced the stimulating view of the coast and the Dalum resurgence, 5 km away and 1200 m below. In the evening when the jungle was quiet it was possible to hear the sound of the waves breaking on the coastal reefs. 9The feeling that a 1200 m deep cave must be somewhere on the plateau was very strong. One more depression with multiple entrances was investigated that day. Lex left late in the afternoon to contact the village area party and to organize guides NIUGINl CAVER VOLLt1E 4 NtJWIBER 3 99 for the final week. The rest of the party moved back to liit the next day. On Friday the reunion at liit developed into the day of the big feast. Hot taro and then hot bread ware followed by a monstrous Lelet stew. Next day all eight cavers went to Ninggalau. Leigh, John and Jim attempted to push the second flowstone constriction and the rest of the party surveyed and photographed the cave (see f'igure 15). The previous day's rain had caused no problem and sur prisingly the water in the entrance cavern had gone down. Ninggalau ended in an unpleasant 50 m crawl, partially filled with water. The aurveyedlengthwaa 330 • and depth was 66 m. It was a long day and the survey party did not return to Liit until B p.m. Week three on the high clateau. Sunday 10th to Sunday 17th August. On Sunday 10th August the shift of people and equipment from Canp 1 at Liit to Canp II at Laranbut began. Leigh and Jim were the first to arrive at Camp II and they began erecting a second building frane. Mike, John and Lex had remained at Liit to pack and supervise the transfer. On 21 carriers were engaged and the move up to the high plateau was almost painless. Canp was established at Laranbut in a couple of hours. Henry and !Wlal carried out some surface mapping to the northeast of the camp that day and the others investigated dolines near camp. L70 and L71 were tagged, but maximum depth was only 17 m. High plateau exploration began in earnest on Tuesday. Three •en, Noah Kiaptabu, Lentuan fWlesulam and Lilikas Paulo wha11 we understood to have some knowledge of the high plateau, were to act as guides. Although very •icable and genuinely helpful in most matters, the guides either truly did not know of the existence of major entrances (a distinct possibility as they preferred to keep to tracks on ridges between depressions) or ware a little lazy and did not want to guide far from canp. As a result, guiding was nominal only and depression$. were investigated on speculation. By following the ridges, movement across the /plateau was surprisingly easy. There was heavy undergrowth and _ little elevation change as long as one did not drop off into the depressions. However, as route finding was initially difficult, the presence of guides or trail blazing was essential. Henry, Aal, Paul and Leigh made up one party and with Noah as guide they investigated a large depression southeast along the coastal rim. The depression contained some twenty odd holes, about eight worth looking at. The deepest was 27 m. Exanination or the depression was, as usual, time consllning and only one other small depression was exanined that day. The other party had more success. They had walked for an hour and a half, firstly south to the Bungaring-Lemeris track, then east. They examined a depression just north of the track, following four small holes down the axis of the depression. The fifth one went. T he area had the name Lowatkusmeri and the cave was tagged L55 (see !Wlap B). Plike descended one shaft and John an adjacent one, but they joined about 20 m down. Mike next spent an hour dangling from a rope "gardening" just below the top of the next pitch. After removing most of the large boulders, he descended the 33 m pitch. The party returned to just on dusk, leaving the cave rigged.


1 JO NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 4 3 Next day, Wednesday 13th Auguat, the same party continued exploration in Lowatkusmeri. After rerigging the first pitch and more rock clearing on the 3econd, Lax and John descended the third pitch or 18 m. This was followed by a mainly horizontal scranble and the cave terminated in a rockpile at the bottom of another 7 m pitch. Depth was 102 m. Surveying commenced. The sane day Henry's party had continued investigation of the Lenkaso area and one cave had bottomed at 34 m. figure 7. Polygonal karst on the high plateau near Canp II. The escarpment and village area can be seen at the top of the photo. A change of party was organ.ize d on the Thursday with Paul and Jim s1a1apping. Lowatkusmeri Lemet Silot (the big hole at was the name wa gave to LSS. The survey was completed on Thursday. It was after 10 p.m. the party returned to C8fllp. Henry's party had another fruitless day examining depressions and entrances about half an hour's walk from canp along the coastal rim. The next day they continued the search in the depressions around the junction the track from camp with the 8ungaring-Lemeris track. As usual many enterable holes were located, but none opened up. Henry contihued his and compass traversing, sketching the divides of the depres sions and details of the entrances along the axes of the depressions (see Map 9). The other party had a rest day in camp. Saturday was the last day of major exploration. One party continued on ttle high plateau, c.:,ncentr 0tin1;) on the area between the Bungaring-Lemeris track the coastal rim slightly west of the Dall.Jn turn-off. About six de pressions and nine caves were investi gaterl with the dAepest at 26 m. Lex travelled down the Dalun track for ahout half an hour. Leigh volunteered to investigate a large proportion of tr1e holes in his usual keen fashion. The second party descended to the village area to investigate caves near the didiman' shut and near Putbiliko (L35). None was hopeful. Sunday was to be the last day on the Lelet and no one had much heart for surface exploration. Henry and Plal returned to a cave near the which had been spotted several days earlier and descended 37 m. The remainder of the party relaxed, began packing, and spent the afternoon locating the of all caves explored on the large aerial photograph. NIUGINI CAVER VOLUPI( 4 NUMBER 3 101 Withdrawal. 1Bth to Wednesday 20th August. Packing and canp breaking commenced early on morning. leigh and Jim were off at 6.30 a.m. By 8 a.m. no carriers had arrived, so Lex set cff to or9:;:r:izu The three guides and five remaining caverH carried very heavy loads do\lm to Limbin. As the men 11iere busy, several WOOlEHi and childrer1 had been orgcin ized to carry, so finally the expEiditiof' with 11 carriers straggle!d intc• the road head. The bulldonir t.railer was loaded and after an uncornfortc1ble' but joyous ride dotJrf"I the stee roadway the party arrh1ed at lanerika for an enormous meal and cold, cold beer. figure B. Ri \:er Rope washing in the On Tuesday morning the party lab• curuci for C1boLit four hours wanhi ng in the Dahm River (see Figure 8) a few minute::.; CCIL'lcl be tc! invastigdte the multiplP entrances of the. resurg(:nct.• iteelf. However, it enough time to SN: ? that the cave couJ r: be arid cE:'r' tc.dnl wou! c' wan majc.r EXplorc.•ticm. The rP:.'>lff

102 NIUGI NI CAV[R VOLUWIE 4 Nl.ftBlR 3 PHYSIOGRAPHY GLOCJ Virt.uelly all of the Lelet Plateau lirneBtone, but there is a small area of the underlying volcanics in the s.w. (see Map 3). The volcanics outcrop up to c. 1000 m on the southern elopes but do not occur at all at sea lPvel on the no1't.hern so the base of the limeutone is well belolll sea level along the northea6t The lifflerntone b .. overlFiir-i by elastic. sediments at the narrob' pc;int or New approxilf•ately 20 km r.s.r.. of the plateau. Outcrops were not. common, though enough t.o show that dips wer-ei always low, 1 o0 or less, on the itself. Soil in the areas is crlAnbly arid or grey in colour. JI"' forest erens brown sort clFty soil is common overlying compact pir1k clay which appef.trs to form thick reeicual masses ir. valley bot.toms. Transported iri valley bottoms amount to a mixturf-! of leaf litter and mud. In virgiri above 1 OOO m, soi 1 was rarely seen because or a root mat, like a springy carpPt9 which covers most of the ground. The major exception is the bottoms or karst and the steepest slopes. LirM:wtone outcrops occur adjacent to sharts, in creekside cli f'fs and sometirr:en in odd patches on hillsides and ridgetop pirinacle!!l. The limestone is very inhomogeneous, typically containing large coralline fragments in a matrix. In caves with drip-splash solution, very sharp etched boulders are a hazard. Bedded limestone, presunatily lagoonal facies materi ril, was seen in moat of caves, but there is a possitility that the material around Laranbut is forereBf talus and reef material. Benches. The a comple)( tablF,land made up or a series of bench elements which extend rrom the highest points on the plateau (c. 1480 m) do\Lin t.c.i the coast (see Map 3). Scarps between each memt:er of the series are slight, and pruminent scarps occur only where certain of the bench are iri a area. The escoxpment which separates the village area from the hi ::c :I: u z w m ( / ' --....'/)-,.... c 0 Q) u 0 ..... a MN • :::J :5 m c 0 c c 0 L_n U') D :[ 3 "'O 103 ........... 0 (Y) / L. /. j I ;; / 0 ' u o 0 Q) lJ) 0 E lil m


104 NIUGINI CAVER VOLU'IE 4 NLMB[R 3 r1gure 9. Vast expanse of polygonal karst on the high plateau (b) The escarpments (gullies). The arc of steep slopes enclosing the villages has a karst gully drainage, dry, but othendi se ordinary and without caves. The scarp on the north, rrom Laumbut down to Dalum, is just as' steep but has karst depressions, not gullies, going down the slope. This area is thought to be on reef talus limestone. r1gure 10. Gully development, village area, looking towards the high plateau. The airdrop zone is in the centre of the photo and lenkanin is in the centre right. (c) Village area (complex doline karst). This area is quite complex. Interfluves are relics of a formerly base levelled surface with thick soil cover. Above this surface are several cone shaped residual hills, and doubt less the area could have been called a cone karst before rejuvenation (see figure 3). The cones are relict land forms only. The rejuvenated creek system extends out on to the bench from the rim scarp and is incised some 20 m below the old surface (see figure 10). Dolines of the classic form are now developing on the old surface, and these are prized locations for growing taro. The dry val leys are either blind (as in the case of the creek feeding Kansneroborunda cave) or else collect into the one trunk stream which reaches the coast NIUGI NI CAVER VCLUM[ 4 NlfiB[R 3 105 near Kaneriba. According to the villagers, water sometimes reaches the coast along this valley. The water supply situation for the villagers is based on trickle springs from cliffs or caves or on pools scoured in the hard pink clay deposit. This sheds water during heavy showers. The only permanent creek on the plateau runs 200 m from a spring to a sink. The most active stremibeds have a stony . bed, with small, mossy, angular boulders as a rule. Some soil coveuid strean• beds may be dry at all times, though the villagers showed us one that carried water. (d) Lower forest areas (polygonal karst). The main cultivated area stops befc•re the lowest areas on the pleteau are reached west and north of the village area. The lacks the abundant root mat of the higher areas. Local people denied knowledge of caves herf!. From the air the polygonal karst looks similar to the high plateau. An area we.1st of Kaluan close to the base of the limestone has cocl

106 rJIUG I NI CAVER VOLtrlE 4 Nl.l"1BE R 3 VfG(TATION Most of the plateau is covered in lowland rainforest. The vegetation on the hi<;t• is l.LW:ewlsr3 r; In the village area, secondary re-growth predominates as a result of subsistence gardening and burning. Bracken fern covers much of thi!'-'> area wi lh forest in some of the gullies (see !'lap 2 and F"iguH 10). Food gardens arP comnorr in the village area. The farming system is based or1 b1 .s.cken Ferri fallo11.r and i 9 most unusual. The system apparently mai nte:dns soi I fer U li t.y as crops arE> vigorous and gar-c'ens are located near the hamlets, that io, fallow periods are short (see 18). T2ro esculenta) is the staple crop and prnvides both corms and It is mixed cropped with diploid bananas9 aibika (Abelmoschus and vegetables. Around the hamlets orange trees ancl. bananas, Lnclud1ng cult1vars of the w:;ually uncom111on Aust.rc:limusa grour:1, are grown. Small of Austr2limusa bananas and sometimes taro sagittifoliLm) are plantEd in gully bottoms. Small quant.ities or temperate clJmate vegetables, such as cabbage and potatoes, are also grown in the gr1ce 842330). r1gure 12. The watering point near Lenkanin Village : J . Near Lenkmiin. A trickle spring used by the Lenkanin people, probably permanent (grid reference 820331). (See Figure 12). 6. L Multiple springs from a cliff face on the high plateau (approximate grid refer ence 869332). 7. Near Limbin. A trickle spring not visited but recorded by Wilde (1975). Name not recorded. NIUGINI CAvrR VOLUM[ 4 NUMB[R 3 107 CAVE DESCRIPTIONS The prefix L is used for cave tags for the Lelet Plateau. Caves L1 to LJO were described by Bourke (1974) and L31 to l45 by Wilde (1975). Here 1118 present descriptions of caves L46 to l81 together with some of those described ' earlier. l60 was not allocated. The nunbering system differs in the village area and on the high plateau. In the village area nunbers were not assigned to very small caves, but all others were nLJnbered, tagged and described. Because of the high density of cave entrances on the high plateau, we did not nunber every cave. Caves were nunbered and tagged in the karst depressions sufficient to make the depression identifiable. For exanple, in a typical depression with eight caves usually two would have been nunbered, one at each end of the depression. Significant caves were usually also nunbered. However, all caves and karst features in the depressions have been described and assigned an arbitrary Arabic nuneral to assist cave descriptions. local area names were used to identify karst depressions, but where several depressions were covered, they have been differentiated by Roman numerals. An exanple of a high plateau feature is as followsa LA RA NBUT VII 1 L Karst depression name A r bit r a r y feature nunber Cave nunber, if applicable tags were fixed near the entrances of all nunbered caves on the plateau explored by the expedition. Some of the caves L 1 to L45 which were re-visited were also tagged. Cave nanes were provided by o ,ur guides and are usually local nanee for small areas of land which include the cave. In the village area the denei ty of caves is low and there are nur 1erous Rm all naned areas, so a cave name will usually refer to only the one cave. By contrast, on the high plateau, cave density is much higher and area nanes refer to larger areas, so one name will cover several karst containing many caves. As well as small area nanes, the villagers have "big nanes" covering a much larger area (e.g., Sunon and Tunbumpo). ; The prefix N is used for caves accessible from the northeast coast. The two caves explored on the coast were not tagged. VILLAGE AREA (see Map 2) l25. Kanimetlevau. (Map 7). Near a garden near Lempatnas hanlet (see Map 2). Nane erroneously given as Canimelavow in earlier description (Bourke, 1974). The first pitch (16.5 m) leads to a small ledge which is followed by a 38 m pitch. At the base there is a chamber with a enteller chamber adjacent. Depth is 60 m. L27. Awatbumbun. (Plap 7). Northeast of Lenkamin. ntrance on side of a hill near a betel nut palm and is 8 shaft about 2 m in diemeter at the top• The f'irst pitch{25s5 m) leads into a large chamber. Then a rubble slope to the top of the second pitch (18.6 m). The cave was previously explored to the top of this pitch (Bourke; 1974). The cave is blocked off at the base of the second pitch by rubble and flowstone. Depth is 49 m. It is well decorated


108 NIUGINI CAVER VOLLPIE 4 NUMBER 3 with flowstone. Swiftlets noted at the bottom of the cave and animal bones (wallaby?) at the top of the second pitch. L31. 1. Previously referred to as lemerukluk (Bourke, 1974) and described by Wilde (1975). Small cave entrance at bottom of a very small and collapsed sink. 10 m crawl to a tight squeeze, too tight to push. Strong draught from cave. l36. Lanangwat. Previously recorded (Wilde, 1975) as Kanambu, which appears to be a "big nane" covering this place and surroundings. A substantial watercourse sinks in the entrance. A climbable entry over rubble leads to a small caver.n .with headroom. At the far end, a hole in the floor goes to a flat oval section crawlway, then a narrow chute down 2 m to water . The pool is o.s m deep. and is fed by a trickle. Water exits through a narrow slot below water level. Above the chute two swiftlets' nests complete with young were seen. Length is 25 m; depth 9 m; c. 970 m a.s.l. L43. Kabotlabangabang 1. PI13viously investigated by Wilde (1975). [ntrance is on the northern side of creek bed. A climb down a 5 m shaft is followed by a crawl, then a small passage which forms a pool in wet weather and a short climb down to a collapsed chamber with a possible high level passage. The chanber floor is covered with collapse material, silt and guano. Crawling leads downwards from the chamber and is roughly horizontal for 30 m, and then through an unstable rockpile into another-chamber. A low crawl through a shallow pool cuts through the bedding plane in a slot into a , small chanbar where an unpushed sunp (with airspace) and a crawlway pressure tube lead off. The pressure tube (gradients -in both ctir-ections) was inflow into the chamber. It was followed for 40 m but continues beyond this. rstimated 150 m of passage; little elevation change • . 1 f"looding danger. L44. Kabotlabangabang 2. (See,Wilde, 1975). Entrance is a 3 m diameter shaft in the base of the gully just east of l4S. A 12 m shaft drops into a collapse chanber with several muddy crawls leading off. No go. rrom its position in the base of the gully, it appears this cave takes a lot of water. L45. Kanimbigim. Previously recorded by Wilde (1975). The entrance is a walk in one. A 14 m pitch follows then a muddy crawl which is too tight to negotiate. Depth is 27 m. l46. Kanameroborunda., (Maps 4 and 5). The cave is the den of the "masa lai" pig Kananeroborunda. It is in a blind valley. The creek bed changes into the horizontal cave entrance. The creek is a major one but runs only in floods. The entrance (c. 1000 m a.s01.) is 1.s m high, but is obstructed by logs and boulders. The first cavern has headroom. There is a high (3 m) mud bank and mud shelf on the lefto The bank shows fresh scour marks. The cave continues as a straight crawlway with pools, mud, cobbles and vegetable debris on the floor, and a ceiling with a roof channel chopped by flat roof. At the end corner, there is a pressure tunnel with an up-slope of limestone cobbles leading into the second cavern. Thie is also walk-through, with scoured bank and mud shelf, mainly on the left but also below the big aven on the other side. The aven is the highest point of the cave and may go. The on is first crawling, then a vertical slot. -3292 0 --32900 \ \ mag. N 980 -32880 -\ \ c1000 990 32860 -n I k. m 'fA i oO 6 910 a b c d L\: 7 \ \ -i----.. .: . .. . ... .. . . .. . A.L.B. ... ,,;;a ; p .. .... Henry Shannon I st.soo I 109 Map4 ----\ I \


110 : _ c 1010 =-1000 :-: 990 =--980 =--970 KANAMEROBORUNDA t: L950 see plan : Map 4 E: c 1000 =--980 =--970 -960 NINGGALAU . ..: ""';;;;;;,, .•... : .:.: :::.::::::.::::::=::::.:::::::::::: : :::::::: ::::: : : ::.:.:::.;;;:.:::' deweloped Iona section ASF Grade M55 Henry Shannon I: 1000 m altitudes approximated from 1 • !>0.000 Cape lemeris Sheet 111 Map s ''"'"] 1000 ! 990--::; 960 c 1000 990 980 970 960 see plan Map 6 =--940 ::i 920-::=-930 . -920 den loped long sect ion A.LB:


112 .NIUGINI CAvrR VOLt.rlE 4 Ntr\BER 3 The modern strean bed hugs the wall in a small canyon, then exits. The stream bed can be followed, through a narrow chute in clean limestone and on to the further end or the cavern. The third cavern is 37 m x 30 m x 15 m (maximun height}. A mud ridge divides the cavern, and this is breached by a section of abandoned streanway which goes over a fossil waterfall 5 m high. Most of the mud from the higher levels is pitted with splash cups and is mostly covered by sparkling travertine crusts. There are also stalagmites and flowstones and some shawls. At the further end of the cavern is a low point in a boulder choke. Two passages go on rrryn area. The higher passage continues on the level wi trl the ioodern streanway inlet. The level is marked by a wave-washed clean band on be cavorn bJall., and is ma.i.1,ly muddy crawlway to a pitch. Below the pitch the cave goos to an impenetrable slot where voice and light communication is possible with the other route. The passage starts rrom holes in the boulder choke A tr.iGkle runs thr u a no-go loop at the of the rnud passage and sinks bef're t:1e first pool in the ln1.110r passage. r1oodwaters leak out of the passage through several joints and bedding planes in the secti1::>r1. These lmpenet.rable holP.s are often covered with mats of debris. A belly crawl leads to the effective end which is a const.r.ktirm caus•Jd by a fallen boulder just beyond an unavoidable pool. The draught is still obvious here, though less than back at the entrance. Total length is approximately 500 m or slightly over• depth is 38 m (+ 5 m, :'33 r.i from tag L4fi). Dotted 'passage on Maps 4 a:1d 5 is unsurveyed. t LSO. SeplHli. The entrance .(c. 1030 m a.s.1.) is in a blind valley. rrop.l hB ent.ra11c13 one goas over talus boulrters to an earth floored antechanber, then Cl. roct.: chute (4 m cllrnb) to rubble floor with vegetable debris (some travertine) then crawlhmy to 7 m pitch. The chanber below narrotoJS off. There is one aven ' frcJm the 111wr:Jr levol. Length is 33 m and depth is 18 m. The English rendition of Sep818 would Sepperler. F11 ] 1Jr13 13. Lenbinbin.. Most stalactites are over 3 m long. L51. Putladung. from Lenkami, walk through Lakanun haml13t to the vr:Jry deep gully northeast of Lenkanin. F'ollow gully for a rew hundred metres and cave _is on the left hand side or the hill about 40 m above gully floor. ThH entrance is a wide wall< in one about 4 m tall. The ceve consists of a chamber wi maximum dimensions of 33 m by 24 m 1.11i th an 8 m at the back." The chamber roof is some 3 m high. There are two places inside where the villagers obtain water. Swiftlets and bats noted. l52. Pesolik. A small grotto 3 m in, 5 m wide and {l m tall with an 8 m shaft at the bottom. There is S m deep shaft 20 m f'rom the entrance. NIUGINI CA\ltR VOLUME 4 NUMBER 3 L53. lakare. A shaft 17 m deep and 2 m in diameter at the base. An adjacent shaft is 7 m deep, B m long and 2 m wide.' 113 l56. Bulu. A 7 m shaft in a karst cone, to the right of a gully. Very regular in plan sect.ion. Entrance is at c. 1030 m a.s.1. The cave was runoured to go to the coast by some of the young men, but not by Noah who owns the area. Another cave is reported near the summit of Bulu hill. It is of interest be bause of its location and nature (a horizontal, walk-in cave) and use as a "p les bilong wokim san", that is, for making fine weather magic. L57. Lematura1. Entrance at c. 960 m a.s.1. Up a side gully from Lematura 2. A 9 m pitch, then hole in rubble floor to a tin)' chamber, no go. nests in alcove. lematura is the nane of the bird. Lematura 2. A 8 m shaft which is climbable to a rubble floor. The entrance (c. 940 m a.s.l.) is marginal to a major creek bed and fills up in floods. L61. Lenbinbin. (Map 7). A small 1.5 m diameter entrance is perched 6 m above the southern side of a gully. A 20 m pitch to a rockelide followed by a further 12.5 m pitch into a large chanber with a very steeply sloping mud and boulder floor. Drainage is into a small boulder choke. A hole high on the wall of the chanber was not entered. The chamber ceiling is extremely we 11' decorated (see figure 13). Small unidentified bats and a nesting swiftlet were observed. The swiftlet nest was built on the floor and not attached to the rock. Surveyed depth is 48.5 m. L62. lanbelubung. (Map 7). The entrance to this shaft is situated approxi mately one third of the way down the north eastern side of a ridge. The slot entrance (1 m by 3 m) opens into an a m dianeter shaft, 81 m deep. The pitch is free all the way. The shaft opens out in several places, but no leads are obvious. The base is flat mud and gravel. Although dripping at the base, the entrance does not take water, and the shaft would appear to be a remnant from an earlier relief. It is possible that this cave produces "smoke" (water vapour), although there \dere several conflicting stories from the villagers. (See tigure 14). L63. Ninggalau. (Maps 5 and 6). The cave is the den of Ninggalau the "banshee dog" of Bungaring hanlet. The barking of Ninggalau gives warning of an approaching death in that hanlet. The entrance (c. 990 m is a horizontal strean sink. The blind valley has very 11 ttle closure. The clay flat continues past the entrance, but the creek channel itselr is incised about 3 m. The creek runs practically whenever it rains, being fed by runoff from a local hard clay area in the valley floor. Water was trickling in during most visits to the cave. A slippery mudslide gives access to the ant.ranee. The first section is walkthrough with pools, rocks, mud and vegetable debris. The cave then closes down to a flat roofed, bedrock crawlway just before an awkward 4 m pitch \dhich is climbable with a handline. Beyond the pitch the cave goes off in an elongated cavern, 25 m by 8 m by 4 m high. The cavern closes down to rubbly crawlway., then narrows at the start of a long, deep and low roofed pool unlikely to be forgotten by any visitor. In high water conditions this i s virtually a duckunder. Beyond the pool, the cave is and bedrock floored before a sudden drop over water (probably not permanent) which can be chimneyed across. Narrotit


----<."'! 0 z = e z: ll) 0. ctl 2 u ClJ (/) ? 1.1) _g 1.1) 2 Cl> ;:: ClJ u (f) ro ..c cJ (f) >-CW') lL CD (f) ' I I I I I I I I• It 0 a> 0) u ' ----\ \ 0 co a> \ I I I I I I I I I I I 0 0 co ,... C> a> <..; \ 0 co IO ('f) ('f) 0 0 N 'It et) 0 0 -\ \ .. -----------. ...--co t -----; NIUGINI CAVER VOLllf\1E 4 NLJ'18ER 3 115 passage usually with headroom continues the cave to a caused by a flowstone u1hich had to be chipped to give access. The draught is very noticeable here. Just beyond is a 22 m pitch. The first half is free and most the rest is a "giant winding staircase" climbable with a handline. The last 4 m is free hanging and needs a separate tie-orr (see r19ures 15 and 16). figure .14. The R1 m pitch in Lam be 1 uh. ung from the foot the pitch; thH cave narrows. Then, after a low chamber with a si1e passage ari.1 a wind ing channel incised in the bedrock floor, the cave becomes wet with plPnty oP mud brown travertinP rormatlon and pools of water. Then there is a short series of easily climbPd drops to the point whAre therP is he8droo1'1 m i d the end the survey. There is an et tract.\. ve colonnade, with many co lum1is showing scalloping, but whlch blocks the dry alternative route. The goes on as a belly crawl in the water ror anothor 50 m. At this point, rallen obstructs the pa8sage. This is the lowest point. The is still strong at the Pnd. Tots:;l p.:1w: . ..,. age length is 330 m, depth i.s 66 r11 (+ 3 m, -63 m from entrancl:'I L63). L64. Meruklu 2. Previo1Jf:lly num bered l31a by Wilde (1975). A tirJht entrance in the northern side of thu gully. A 12 m craw: to a aqueeie and junctioii. A passage goes 25 m to a chanber with upstrean and down stream pas3age. Downstream pass2ge develops into stab lA strea:i passag8 with floor. It goes acrbss a 3 m pit and ori to a muddy crawl. It finishes in an unstable with a strong breeze. HlJllan bones located beyond the muddy crawl. A strong wi.rid blast out of the entrance. was prt:!sont in the afteunoon (2 p.rn. to 3 p.111. observation), but was not observed on be same morning (about 9 Located a very short distancP. tn thH east of r'leruklu 1. Figure 15. The stre001 in Ninggalau


116 CJ z = m = _, LA.I CD :& CN C CD ......... 2 as z CD z &.II.I _, :E = m :. = CD t-; ,._ CN cz: ..... ,....._ a. C'C CL -Cl) I I I I 1 I I I I I I I I I I I I 0 ' 0 0 ' 0 ' 0 ' 0 ' 0 o-.---.---'--'--co--co--"-" -m I I I I I I I I I I I CL 0 N I I b 6 6 b 6 .. -.. I I I I I I I I I I I <( I 1 I I I I , I J, b . J, 6 .' I I I I I I I I 1 I I I 1 CJ)

118 NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 4 NUl'18ER 3 dangerously unstable, but possibly penetrable, rockpile. A downward sloping side passage 5 m down the first shaft drops into a 25 m shaft which begins as a narrow rift and opens into a circular shart. This shaft terminates in an earth fioor. The rock throughout the cave is extremely sharp. Depth estimated at 40 m. A moderate draught was obvious in the sloping side passage. Swiftlets occur in the cave. s. Cave. Two small holes connect under entrance; 3 m climb through boulders; ,then 4 m pitch to rubble choke floor. LARANBUT Il karet depression (aee Map .10) 1. S.E. end. Sautll clay floored doline, 4 m diameter hole at N.111. end, •all hole at other and. 2. Rocky canyon, 2 m by 3 11, 3 m deep. 3. Degraded canyon with two Roles. L68. Ca\le. Entrance in arc_ of scrappy cliff. A rockpile; squeeze; in under; then o.s • dianeter passage with travertine lining for 10 111; then 60 angle slot through which 9 11 shaf't can be seen (not entered). No draught. s. Cave. Entrances in complex canyon/doline. 6 m climb to rubble choke; ttien through slot to 3 m climb to bottom. Alternative 3 m ahart from slot. :aek very sharp and pitted. End tlole going N.111. Tag mnber not recorded-, l69. LARANBUT III karat depression I 1. s. end. Hole, no go. 2. Hole with logs, 4 m to choke. 3. Reverse cli rr o 4. L67. Cave. Long canyon, 7 m deep with rubble floor hole at centre of . side to 7 m shaft, then 3 m climb to choke. s. Low point of depression. Two small blocked holes. 6. Small rocky hole. N.W. of feature s. 7. i'luddy hole, no go. End hole N.w. e. Small cave. Start E. branch. 9. Hole. 10. Small horizontal cave. o1 51 10-1 15-1 20-1 251 30-1 351 40-1 451 50-1 551 60-1 &51 70-1 751 80-1 851 90-1 r100-I 10533p A.L.d. 119 LOWATKUSMERI LEMET SILOT l55 Map8 AS F Grade M53 R.M.Bourke 0 5 10 1sm 1: 500 :-, ... " ....... , plan . ..-.. ,, I •-., ' .. ,:, .;,1;. , I " ,,. ... i i .1 tJ c}'. I '7y?1' ,j, I t I . t ! "' I t 1 J / I_. f , ,..-; {approx. 868361) _.. 0 __... f != LOWATKUSMERI I -----'"> r0 4 KARST DEPRESSION :'.: := o so 100 m + ,,.1:5000 --.... o I .......,.. oJ / track to I Lemeris / from compass & ........_ / / .., Y Bungaring pacing survey / "-., .,2. L .., t ( 600 paces E N E from A.L.Brown r o " 1 D 1 ff) /' ......_ 1 + a um turn a ,, 'l''t' I I I


120 NI!JCINI CAVER VOLUME 4 Nl.JWIBER 3 LARANBUT IV karst depressioQ 1. S. end. Gully sink. Not visited, but promising. 2. Chain of slot cgnyons between cliffs, typically 10 m to rubble floor. recorded in detail. 3. Cluster or caves and a degraded canyon near saddle. Floors visible from surface. 4. L3B. Earth collapse. Tag loose on tree only. 5. L39. Cave. Gully sink, inclined rubble floor. lined with mossy tufa. Loose tag only. Too tight after 4 m. 6. L40. Cave. Substantial gully sink. 7 m entrance pitch to floor with loose rocks then (a) right hand branch, clean 9 m pitch, then through rocks? 2 m do1.t1l"l to impossible roCI< and mud choke. (b) Le ft hand branch. 8 m n.:isty pitch to rock choke, which can be seen through for 3 m vertically. Swiftlets go thro1Jgh. Con:;idered (See Wilde, 19?5.) 7. L41. 5 m rope to narrow slot, no go. 8. L42, Cave. 4 m canyon, rubble floor. LARANBUT V karst dapresslon (see Map 10) 1. C3ve, N.[. end. Two connecting below. 7 m deep, no go. Small hole nearby. 2. Saddle. Branches g•J off S.[ ., s.1J.1. and w. 3. Cave. Start s.w. branch. tical shafts connecting 8 m down. Group or 3 holes. One no go; others ellip CavP chokes 4 m further down. 4. Cave. 5 m rope climb to rubble two no go holes in floor. No draught. 5. Two holes, one 3 m deep. 6. Hi.Jle s.s m d.eap, 1 m wide at bottom. Chokes. end hole. 7. L 7 3'. Cave. Start S .'.11. branch. In large earth doline, entrance hole at s. end. S m rope climb to rubble ledge; then 7 m pitch to next ledge; then 5 m rope climb to bottom; choke. Some travertine aild animal bone. ''-2 m shaft. B. Cluster of three holes. 9. Cave. Clu9ter of 5 holes, gully sink. The cave is a canyon, 9 m drop to rubble floor then (a) 5 m shaft or (b) 7 m shaft to rubble floor. North of this is a hole with a 3 m entrance pitch, then impenetrable wall slot. The largest of the holes to the south is 7 m deep. (nd s.w. branch. UGI NI CAVER VOLUME 4 Nl.MVIBE R 3 121 10. Cave. Start W. branch. m entrance canyon 1.8 m dlaneter; floor of vegetable debris; small hole to 5 m climb. 11. Cave. Canyon 7 m long, 1.5 m wide, 9 m deep; then Sm shaft at E. end to vegetable debris floor. 12. Cave. 3 m pitch to boulder choke, then (a} 4 m shaft and (b) another 4 m shaft, both ending in chokes. 13. No go ho le j" alcove. 14. L74. Cave. End W. branch • 18 m pi. tch to rubble floor; two rock bridges, nci go. 15. North of feature 14. 5 m canynn, not entered. Gully sink nearby. LARANBUT VI depression 1. L70. m free climb shaft into narrow rift, continues down for another 3 m, not checked. Sherp pitted walls, no draught. 2. Cave. Open fissure 10 m deep, 3 m wide, 6 m long; earth floor. Two impenctrabl8 holes, 3. of at least four i?ntrance::.., all too tight; sharp rock. Not r:11eck8d. 4, Cave. Vertical shaft with slight cool air draught. 15 m deep, 2 m to rocky floor. 8 m chimney from base af pitch; narrows to impenetrable squeeze; awkward. No draught. 5. l71. Cava. Boulder choke entrance to 13 m pitch ending on ledge; 3 m drop through narrow chimney not negotiated. Jagged awkward Rides. Does not look promising; no draught. Old trc;:..,vertlne on mairi shaft.. 6. Undescribed hole. LARANBUT VII karst depression (see Map 10) 1. LSB. Cave. Inconspicuous entrrmce, from a gully sink complex. 3 m shaft to ledge with logs leads directly into 7 m inclined pitch, int.o rubble f' loo red chamber; then short archway through to m pitch. Rubble floor with pig skeleton. Impenetrable hole goes down 1.s m. Large active stalagmite nertr bottom. Knobbly t_ravert1ne bi t D th i 39 common on g p.l cq. ep s , •. , m. 2. Cave. fntrance in gully sink complex. Short climb to ruhbly chamber; then through rocks to similar chamber with S m shaft, not negotiated. SU.ght draught, looks promising. Very sharp, brittle, jagged rock. 3. Gully sink complex and smF.tll cave. 4. Ui9. Cave. Gully sink cc implex with cliffs. Two canyons connect below, then horizontal branch passc Total length 15 m.


DITAlll DI IARIT DIPREllllll AID DIVIDES II PART llllUT HIGH PlATllU Compiled from compass-pacing survey with some air photo interpretation. See Map 10 for depression details. surveyed route --walking track f p / divide between depressions , , rim of high plateau _.,,.dry gully L69 cave number 1:10000 1CJO 0 100 200 300 L.00 500 metres \ --:r ,, ...,_ LS8,1> 1 ..., Gr Compiled : H. Shannon Drafted : J Webb 'd plans .. _,;.---/:? " ,,. \ plan Sur•ace LARANBUT VII i // MDPound d ,..,,. 1 1 2 -------,,e " LARANBUT II plan 68<4) L73(1) 1 Q LARANBUT V A.L.Brown 1180 elevation 1170] 1160 elevations LARANBUT I LENKASO 11 1180 1170 c 1130 1120 1110j 10001 (J) plans l69b> LENKASQ l4913i ' \'\. r .. \\J ) :: ;: " ... elevations / BOKAKUPI plaris ...a. N N 3SS 355 Map 10 60 '{;L8111 fl ' 1140 1130 1120 -. 1\10-i L47111 y: '1280-: 1210--=; L48c2> 1 250 ! elevations DETAILS FROM SOME HIGH PLATEAU KARST DEPRESSIONS I : 850 LARANBUT II: depression name surf ace : compass & pacing cave : ASF Grade 22 l68 plan d1shnces between l11tur1s to sc111 lor L1ranbu1 II & VII onlr : ca"'.e tag al\1tudn lppr011mat1d tram 1 50000 4 or (4) : arb1tra!)'. feature no. Cage Lemeris Sheet see Map 9 & cave lists Surveyed & Drawn Henry Shannon AL Brown Draft.ed I\) w


1 . I 124 NIUGINI CAVER VOLIJ't 4 3 LENEVIT I karst depression 1. Gully sink, two small holes. 2. Biggish canyon in arc of cliff. No go. 3. Three holes, one a sizable canyon. No go. LENEVIT II karst deoression 1. Two holes, one 6 m shaft, no go. Other 4 m hole, climb in with two small avens. LENEVIT III karst deeression 1. L75. Cave. Three entrances at low point between two gully sinks. Short climb into chamber; then 10 m pitch 2 m in dianeter; then 5 m climb to end in boulder choke. LENEVIT IV blind valley 1. L76. Cave. Entrance at sink of substantial gully, only shallowly incised below plateau level, which rune after most showers. Horiz.ontal cave passage, mostly crawlway. WateE visible in two holes during visit (it was raining). 10 m long, 5 m deep, 120 LENKASO I karst depression (see Map 10) 1. s.w. corner. Cluster of three smail dolines in gully. I 2. L69. Cave • . 3 m climb; then 4 m pitch; narrow passage to 3 m chimney; slot (no go) into another visible shaft. Sharp, brittle rock. Tag possibly recorded wrongly (see LARANBUT II s). 3. Small doline. 4. Cave. Big canyon entrance; 18 m shaft all in daylight. choke floor with small hole. s. Doline with three no go holes@ 6. Small doline. Junction with S.E. branch. 7. Blocked canyon. B. 5 m deep hole. At top of small cliff. 9. Doline in clay. 10. 5 m shaft. 11. Rock walled doline with clay floor, end S.E. branch. NJUGINI CAVER 4 NUf'l8ER 3 125 r1gure 17. Leigh abseils into a high plateau cave 12. Cave. Low point of depression. 8 m climb through rockpile. Start N. branch. ,13. 4 m deep rubble choke. 14. 1.5 m diameter canyon, 6 m pitch, rope climb, narrow slot in sice. r. or feature 13. 15. Cave. r.-w. slot canyon, divided by boulder 12 m rope climb to sloping rubble floorwith vegetablP-debris. Ends in a choke with a faint draught. 15 m deep. Old travertine formations. 16. Small earth collapse. 17. LB1. Cave. N.-s. zigzag rift 10 m deep. Rope climb to rubble floor with earth and vegetable debris; small hole off for 1.5 m then too tight, no draught. Animal bones present. 18. Cave. Two oval canyons, each 2 m by 1 m, connect 9 m down; cave con tinues to 24 m depth. Rubble floor, no leads. 19. Small doline/blind valley. End N. branch. LNKASO I I karst depression 1. N.w. corner. Big clay 'floored doline with three choked holes. 2. 2.5 m deep hole, no go • . Cliffed gorge between this and feature 1 above. ; / 3. Cluster of four holes, the largest with an arc of' cliffs around it and 4 m deep with horizontal passages off. 4. Cluster of snall holes. L72. Cave. (Map 10). 13 m canyon. Low point, junction of N.w., E. and s. branches. at 6 • Cave. 10). Big double canyon between cliffs. Shafts connecting tottom. r. $haft a clean pi"tch of 32 m. w. shaft is m deep. interrupted by two ledges. RubblF floor. St8rt w. branch.


126 NIUGINI CAVER 4 NlJ'IBER 3 7. 5 m hole, choked. a. Cave. 5 m climb to boulder choke, anall chamber; 2 m climb through choke to loose ledge; 5 m rope climb down 2 m diameter shaft ending in rock choke. Sharp, pitted, brittle rock. End w. branch. 9. Cave. 15 in canyon, rubble floor, all in daylight. Start s. branch. 10. Gully sink; two anall holes. End s. branch. _ -LtNKASO karst deereaaion The posi-tion of this depression is doubtf'ul. The following features are in the depression next to Labungkalabus. 1. Small hole 5 m deep and 1.s m diameter at the entrance. 2. l79. 1 m diameter• so m N.W. of feature 1. Entrance in gully. Shaft 10 m deep, -Very fr&CJR&ntad rock. LABUNGl<-ALABUS karst daereaaion 1. L77. Cava 100 m west of Bungaring-Le111eris track. A 10 m crawl leads into a chanber 5 m widat 9 m long and 4 m high. 2. so m N.W. of feature 1 • Three entrances lead to a single mud and rubble chamber.-3. 30 m N.W. of feature 2. . A anall 2 m deep. r1gure 1a. The move from Camp I to Camp II. Notg taro garden the bottom of doline in background 4. About 150 m N.W. of feature 3. A steep gully/doline leads into an unenterable sink. There is a 25 m cliff on the N.E. side. s. L78. Cave. A gully leads into a narrow passage which slopes0downwards for 10 m at 40 • . Then a 5 m climb to the top of a 7 m pitch, 2 m -in diameter. Ends at the base of pitch in a mud choke. Unstable cave. 18 m deep. 6. 300 m of feature 5 along a stream gully. Doline 7 m deep in gully and 4 m diameter at top. CAVER VOLUPlE 4 NUMBER 3 127 LENKINOUGUDU karst depression 1. Leo. A canyon 26 m deep and about 20 m lQng at the surface. Choked off. BOKAKUP I karst deeression (locations see !'lap 2; detailss see !'lap 10) 1. L47. Cave. Entrance at c. 1260 m a.s. l. Sink of' watercourse fra111 one area of the complex, clay floored depression. Entry through two holes with over hang connecting to streanway from the side. A horizontal crawlway which narrows down after 7 m. Draught present. 2. L48. Cave. Entrance at 1260 m a.s.l. Sink of a substantial watercourse which runs across the clay floor of the depression, much larger than the one that feeds feature 1. The entrance is large but the cave degenerates from stoopway to crawlway. There is a short rising branch to the left, cave narrows, then becomes too tight where a fallen block is in the way. Slope is gentle, per haps 10 m fall in SO m of cave. Draught is still obvious at the end. About 200 torpid bats of a large Rhinolophid species present. 3. L49. Cave. Entrance at c. 1280 m a.s.l. Shaft 33 m deep in hill side. Plan section 1.a m, very regular with vertical grooves. Walls covered with algae at top, appear to be cave fill. PI any swi ftlets inside. At the bottom a rudimentary watercourse exits through a slot 2 m . high by 0.2 m wide. NORTHCAST COAST N32. Kaneribuk. (iwtap 11 ). This extremely interesting cave is located , near Konogusgus village. Wilde ( 1975) recorded the nane Buangmeriba for the cave. The entrance is 11 m wide and Figure 19. Canp I in heavy rain is on the side of a hill. There are swiftlet nests on the roof near the In the fir at chamber there is an old sleeping area said to have been used during 'the war when .people hid in the cave. The remains of an amateur archaeological dig made by a local plantation manager can be seen near the left hand wall. In th.e. second chamber is located the rainnaker' a equipment. A certain "big man" of the village comes to the cave end is said to be able to ma'

N I JGI NI CA\J(R VOLUME 4 NlJl18ER 3 of the chamber a fireplace is surrou nded by low timber seats.. We were told that this i s used for rain making c eremonies. Our enquiries abou t t he ceremonigs did not yield much information, except that the m agic works. A crawlway leads to the final chanber which h a s an o t he r large d aylight hole and is inhabited by flying foxes. As wel l as flying foxes a nd swiftlets, t he cave is inhabited by small insectivorous bats. N33. (fflux caves of the Dalun River. At village, there is a large resurgence which was running at about 10 m /sec in August, 1975. It is said to become muddy and to flow at a higher rate when it is very wet on the plateau. The water is cold. The river effluxes from a series o f caves and springs some 400 m from the sea. One cave was followed for some 50 m before being abandoned because of lack or time. The passage is a metre or so wide and 2-3 m high. The water was 1-3 m deep, but it was possible to keep out of the water by walking on the walls. KAMERIBUK ASF Grade M55 R.M.Boutke A.LB. N32 Map 11 f mag. stencils N NIUGINI CAVER 4 Nl.Jt'18ER 3 129 LOGISTfil EUUl?MENT .B2.e.!!.• For vertical caves, the single rope technique was used exclusively. No ladders were taken to the Lelet. Approximately SOO m or Bluewater II 7/16" nylon rope, 50 m of 11 mm Plammut rope and 100 m of Kinnears 12 mm terylene rope were taken. .All rope was owned by the expedition members except for the latter which had been lent by the 1973 .Niugini Speleological Research [xpedition. Most ropes were 45 m ' long, but one leng .th of 90 m and one of 70 m were available. All ropes performed as required with little sign of significant wear. Vertical eg':lipment. Junars, and whalatail descenders were used by moat members. All were satisfied with their equipment, but one problem developed that has not been reported elsewhere. -Under extremely muddy conditionB, difficultywas experier11ced with the junar cam jamming shut on the rope. Occ asionally it could only be moved with upward blow of the hand. l'lany adopted the procedure of using the junrar as a safety belay on the rope while abseiling l ong pitches (see F'igure 20) figure 20. John abseiling the entrance pitch of Lenbinbin Protectors. Seventeen canv a r opa protectors were manufactured befcr the expedition. These consi.sted or vari le lengths (0.5 m to 1 m) of doublethiokn aa canvas about 20 •m wide, which were wr p pe d around the rope and held with "velcro" (hook and eye fastening material). T h protector was fixed to the rope, et point of contact with the rock by prussik loop of small diameter rope. The protector wet"e superb, even under the most adve r The "velcro" held even if coated with mud before fastening" . These protectors completely outdata other type such as split hosing. Bolting. Bolting was essential in the Le let caves. In some locations, the rock was severely pitted and razor sharp. Where suitable tie-off points could not be located, it was necessary to hang the rope off the wall to avoid difficult protection situations. Clothing. expeditioners caved with only one layer of clothi n g , and singlet or similar, under ov r However it was felt tha t i f l on tions underground wer particularly with long w it t p warmer clothi n g u c h lon J hn have been deeir b l • Glov tial t o avoid l a c erations on rocks.


130 NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 4 NUMBER 3 Most took anoraks and found them useful, although some did not wear them at all. A jumper or warm woollen shirt was necessary. Air mattresses were not taken nor were they missed. Lighting. Carbide and electric lanps used by all expeditioners, and on any major venture underground both forms or lightinq were carried. Both lamps were carried on the helmet. By mounting the lamps on separate brackets on the helmet. rather than both on the same bracket, it was possible to reduce the forward tilting moment (see figure 20). Battery packs, holding Alkaline D cells, were specially manufactured for the expedition. Discarded miner's lamp wet cells had had the acid and lead removed, and were reamed to enlarge the internal to a size and shape where two commercially available D cell holjers could be fitted. These holders held three 0 cells each, and were con nected in parallel to provide 4.5 V to the headlanp. Standard wet cell battery covers fitted over the modified battery case. In this way each expeditioner usod his own standard miner• s lamp headlamp, cable and battery cover, merely replacing his wet cell the modified battery pack. The dry cell battery pack was considerably lighter than the replaced wet cell, and with care, provided up to 20 hours lighting. This system eliminated the two major problems of "ho:ne-made" dry cell lighting of providing a' reliable on-off switch and a connection bett.11een cable and battery. Both MSA and Oldham lamps were adapted, and some old Ni fe cells were also used. Suunto compass and clinometers and "fibron" tapes were used exclusively. Metal tags were fixed to caves using a hand drill and masonry nails. At no time did tagging slow cave exploration. It is felt that perma nent tagging of caves by expeditions in remote areas is very important because the time span between visits by cave:rs to such areas may be measured in decades. 1.tli thout tagging, the relocation of caves already explored, and an of knowledqe about an area, will be much more difficult. I Cari-ying. On the plateau carriers and guides were employed as necessarr• Very little difficulty was experienced in employing people. However the avail ability of villagers is very dependent on other activities, such as feasts, occurring at the s::rne time, as the population is small. On both reconnaissance trips and when our party was leaving the plateau, some problems were experienced obtaining guides or carriers. Detailed knowledge of any particular are.a, of the high plateau, is confined to only a few people so we changed guides from time to time as we moved to different areas. Wages were K2 per day plus smokes. When employees are camped away from the villages, rations have to be i. People pre fter not to work on Sundays. Some 870 kg of gear was taken in anc 420 kg out from the plateau. Packs ranging from Hframe back packs to copra sacks were used to ferry goods on the surface. Villagers were prepared to carry virtually any form of load (15 to 20 kg) and back packs were not necessarily preferred (see Figure 1B). Small underground back packs based on a design by Montgomery (Sydney Speleological Society) were used extensively to carry ropes and equipment in They were an essential part of the expedition The canvas material had to deteriorate by the end of the expedition through the abuse that these packs necessarily received. Photographic equipment. r1ve brands of 35 mm SLR camera were taken on the expedition. All performed satisfactorily. Electronic flashguns and one bulb flash were used for underground lighting. Synchronization sometimes failed in wet cave conditions, and mostly open shutter flash shots were used. Condensation of water vapour from cavers• clothes and breath produced fog, and maximum separation of the camera and flashgun was found desirable. In those cameras (most) not kept in plastic with silica gel, trouble developed with the film sticking to itself on the wind-on spool, preventing rewind. Many films had to be rewound by hand in a sleeping bag, and a changing bag would have been a useful piece of equipment. As a result of sticking, blue hllftidity streaks affected many films. One solution was to use a roll of 20 exposure film on the one day, rewinding it as soon as possible. High speed Ektachrome or Ektachrome colour transparencies were the types of' f'ilm mostly usad. The higher speed was most necessary for surface photography in the rainforest. FOOD ANO CAMPING .f.2.2!!• Some 300 kg gross of food was taken, calculated as suf f!cient ror 200 man-days for the cavers and 125 man-days for employees, with generous quan tities of vital items to allow for airdrop losses. The ration for our employees was 450 g of rice, 140 g of tinned mackerel, 2 cabin bread biscuits and 10 cigarettes daily, plus tea and sugar. The cavers' breakfast consisted of breakfast cereal such as muesli or cornflakes followed by tinned baked beans or spaghetti or reconstituted egg powder. Lunches were based on biscuits and spread. Dinner was more varied, but was usually soup by a main course of one-pan dinner or dehydrated meat or a stew of tinned meat and local vegetables. Dessert and beverages finished off' the meal. The most popular food item was "Snack Paks", a 140 g tin of ready-to-eat dessert, closely followed by muesli. Hot bread prepared from a commercial mix was also disposed of most eagerly. Tea was the most popular beverage. We put away 1 kg of" chocolate a day between us. Some local food was purchased and made a welcome change in our menu. However this was only possible whan we were operating near the villages as the people did not bring much food to our camps for sale. Most cooking was done over open fires although a gas stove, two shellite stoves and two solid fuel stoves were taken. A copy of the food list with .quantities taken and comments is available from the leaders. Camping. Previous experience had shown that conventional tents were not necessary. We construeted wall-less shelters from a framework of saplings and 3 m wide polythene sheeting. We took 35 m of polythene which was adequate. Waterproof tape for joining the plastic was essential and the beat design for the roofs involved the elimination of cross beams which tended to cau88 water to collect on the roof. Our liit base canp consisted of the following etruc tures: a large communal hut cum food store with a table inaideJ two sleeping lean-tos where personal gear was storedJ a caving equipment stor•J • comfort able sit-down toilet; and assorted benches, tab lea and f'ireplacaa. The Laranbut camp was slightly more modest, but was nevertheless quite comrortabl•. The multi-purpose 20 litre drt.rns originally acquired for the airdrop Hrved as seats as well as water and food containers. (Sae Figure 21.)


132 Figure 21. NIUGINI CA\J[R VOLUME 4 NUMBER 3 Camp I at Lii t The Liit camp was located near a good water supply, but being in a gully, it was somewhat danp and suffered from lack of sunlight. The Laranbut camp was located on the edge of the escarpment of the high plateau at c. 1240 m altitude and was extremely pleasant. Because of the lower temperatures, our guides preferred to camp lower down at a hut at Putnu. There was no water at the Laranbut camp and our guides carried water up daily, from a temporary pool at Putnu or from Limbin. We used about 50 litres daily for cooking and a little washing. If rain water were to be collected as the only supply for a camp, a large stor-age facility would have to be provided to allow for several days of dry weather. One possibility would be to dig a pit and line it with plastic. A satisfactory conduit from a hut roof to the pit would be di ff'icul t to provide from bush materials. In general we ate very well , and our living conditions were comfortable. This paid off in that the en-tire party was out caving almost every day and our employees were contented. MEDICAL The contents list of the first aid kit together with comments on the usage of the various items (Appendix 1) indicates that no accidents occurred. Almost everyone suffered from minor infections or scratches; only Paul had a more seri ous infection which Mysteclin cleared up. Scratches were treated daily with topfcal antibiotic powder . More band aids would have been useful as they are very convenient for small cuts. Most members of the party contracted a cold at some stage on the trip; Paul spent a day in bed reci.1perating. This was the only day lost due to sickness. The only medical treatment requested by the villagers we employed was bandaging for cuts on their feet and legs, and the odd disprin. All cavers took antimalaria tablets before and during the expedition. There was no gastroenteritis problem. This may have been good luck or it may have been prevented by the use of a disinfected hand wash after toilet use. In the Liit base camp, rats became a serious problem by the second week and our food had to be stored in closed airdrop containers. It is possible rats could tran311i t serious diseases and provision should be made for rat control on future trips. NIUG 1 NI CA V[ R VOLl.Jl'1E 4 NUMB: R 3 133 CONCLUSIONS The Lelflt is well worth a return triri. There is no arP1:1 of pote.•r.ti,,1 in Pe.pua New Guinea with such good access; the villagers are frh1ndly and ful; the climate is pleas ant; lC"lcal food is avai lc=ib le; the kar st topoc_.r aphy if' inteN1f.ting; there are no particular health and most especiaJ Jy the potentiel for of class depth is undoubtedly there. One has to but stand on the edge of the sc8rp arid loo!.: at the Dalum resurcJHnce on the c;orist only a fel!.r kilometres away and o\Je.I' 1200 m lower to be convincc-rl of Access has improved sincl:! we werf, in the are2 and by n0\11 the ro8d has bHE!n put through to Limbin, al though the rocid can be expected to become ul"lusablP c:1fter prolonged t11et periods. In w hat areR should a party operc:ite on t h e next tr)p'? The immedic:1•.c .. c:1r1::"3f:.' around Lenkrn1in village and our camps at Liit and Lc.•rar1but are morE' or caved out.. The villagers knotit of many morf• neer Limbin, Lowc.tkana villages. The prCtmising c

l __ 134 NIUGHJI CAVER \IOU.PIE 4 NL.r:BER 3 ACKNOWLE:DGMfNTS The following compani0s kindly assisted us by donating some or their pro• ducts thus reducing the cost of the for participants: Cerebos (Australia) l td.; H. J. Heinz Company Australia l td.; Mallory Batteries (Australasia) Pty. Ltd.; The Nestle Company (Australia) Ltd.; Kellogg (Aust.) Pty. Ltd.; Cadbury Schweppes Pty. Ltd.; foremost Consolidated Pty. Ltd.; Rheem Austrcilia Ltd.; and Aleen Australia Lt.d. John Swire and Sons Pty. Ltd. gave us free shipping between Brisbane and Rabaul; Steamships Trading Company in Rabaul gave a discount on food purchased there; Crowley Airways Pty. L td. •Jave a discount on air charters anc their senior pilot in Rabaul, Ren Fenrnore, gave excellent assistance. As well we are indebted to the following who assisted in various ways: Mr. Kipling Combo of Civil Defence and [mergency Services, Port Moresby who arranged a loan of a transceiver and batteries; Mr. rmery fekety of Civil Def nee in Rebaul who held a radio sked daily and Mr. John Hunter of Kckopo who assisted in relaying at times; the University of Queensland Speleological Society for the' hire of ropes and the loar. of the first aid kit; the 1973 Niugini Speleological Research Expedition for the loan of packs and some ropes left over from their-expedition; the Tasmanian Aero Club for advice on airdrop procedures; Jim Grose of Kamiriba Plantation who lent his truck for transportation on the Now Ireland coast and from whom we hired plantation labourers to carry our gear up to the Phi 1 Toome!r 'in Sydney for picking up gear there; Jear: Bourke for hospit2lity at Keravet berore and after the expedition; Helen Tew in Bris l-:!ane! ror assistance in manufacture of underground packs; Neil Montgomery iii' Sydney who provided the pack design; Lesley Brown in Brisbane for assistance in prep.:tr::i .tion of expedition eQuipment; Steve freeman in Rabaul who drew up our evecuation fund agreement; Ian Hotschilt at Vunapope for assistance in hiring the 1.i.•ork Brian Holt in Cairns for a donation; the staff of the Civil Engineering Laboratories, Uni. of Old. For advice on the construction or underground lighting equipment; and Glen Pure of Brisbane who assisted with printing nf the photographs. Figure 21. Dave Larkin on the bulldozsr going up to the Lelet DavF Larkin and Heather Anderson of Lanerika Plantation provided much hospitality, general 1'1elp and trensportation on the New coast. all their kindness, our time on the coast would not have been so enjoyable. Most of all we wish to thank the Lelet villagers who acted as guides and carriers, gave us gifts of food and in general befriended us, especially Lakuna Ismel who took us under his wing, our other guides Thomas PaViit, Lentuan Mesulall, Noali Kiaptabu and Manase Manangong and our employees Stephe11 Garnu, Lilikas Paul11 and Ezekiel. NIUGlNl CAVER 4 NUMBER 3 135 APPENDIX 1. cqNTENTS OF FIRST AID KIT 4 4 1i e 3 8 3 1i triarigular bandages•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• crepe bandages, 5 safety pine •••••••••••••••••••• gauze bandages ( 10x311, 3x2", 4x1 ") ••••••••••••••• rolls Leukoplast {3x3, 2x2'', x1.,) •••••••••••••• rolls 3" flexiplast •••••••••••••••••••••••••••• do2. Bandaids •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• doz. butterfly closures •••••••••••••••••••••••••• rolls cotton wool 1 pkt lint •••••o••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 1 roll micropore •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 1 tin paraffin gauze ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 20 sterile. dressings•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Sterile dressing pack (forcepa, swabs, pad) •••• •••••• 1 syringe •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 1 pkt needles, 1 needle holder ••••••••••••••••••••• 2 pr. scissors 3 pr, forceps 3 scalpels, 1 scalpel holder ••••••••••••••••••••••• 4 sutures •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 1 medical glove Tourniquet rubber •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 1 eye dropper •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• first aid book ••••••••••••••••••••••o•••••••••••••••• 4 pkts (140) aspirin•••••••••••••••••••••••••••,••• 1 pkt (50) disprin S6 Lomotil (for diarrhoea) •••••••••••••••••••••••••• 10 Mebinol Complex (for •••••••••••••••••• 2 containers Cicatrin (topical antibiotic) ••••••••• 5 containers Neosporin (topical antibiotic) •••••••• 1 bottle Bute sin Picrate {burn oi.ntment) ••••••••••• 1 bottle Lysol (disinfectant) •••••••••••••••••••••• 1 Xylccaine jelly (topical anaesthetic) •••••••••••• 45 Mysteclin V tablets (antibiotic) ••••••••••••••••• 64 Penicillin V tablets (antibiotic) •••••••••••••••• 1 tube Daktarin (anti-fungal ointment) ••••••••••••• 1 tube fungi li n (anti-fungal ointment) ••••••••••••• 1 tube Ultr etlan-D (anti histamine ere am) •• • ••••••••• 50 Avil Retard tablets (antihistamine) •••• •••••••••• 10 Phenergam tablets (antihistamine) ••••. •• •• ••••• •• 40 Digesic tablets (pain killer) •• 1 ••••••••• , ••••••• 20 Novalgin tablets (pain killer) ••••••••••••••••••• 100 Coloxyl tablets {anti-constipation) • •••• •• •• •• ••. 100 vitamin tablets •••••••••••••••••••••••••t•••••••• 1 tube Golden eye ointment ••••••••••••••••• , •••• •. 1 tube Savlon •••••••••••••••••••••••••• • • ••• • 1 container baby .powder••••••••••••••••••• , 3 air splints (1 full arm, 2 full leg) ••••• ••••••• Not used Not used Not used Used: 2x1 '', 1 x3", t x2'• Not used All used Not used Used: 1 roll Used: pkt Nat used lJ sec!: * tin Not used f\lot used Not U9f;ld Used Used Not. use d fJot used Not used Not used Not used Not US>.d Not USE!d Used: 10 Not used Not used Not used Used: 1 U secl: 1! Some used Some used Some used Used: 14 Not used Used Not used Not USE!d Not used Not used


136 NIUGI NI CA VER VOLUME 4 Nll18[R 3 !f..PENDIX 2, Al R DIRECTIONS TO TH[ DROP SITE ON THE: LE:LrT from Rabaul track along the southwest New Ireland coast. Kalili is easily recognizable from its location on a circular bay. At Kalili turn due north. Once over the escarpment, Lenkamin village with its row of iron roofed buildings is seen off to the right of the aircraft. The airdrop ridge is located one ridge to the east of the ridge on which Lenkamin is situated. Airdrops should be made from south to north, with a left hand circle. RE FERENC]. Bourke, R. M. (1974). Some Caves of the Lelet Plateau, New Ireland. Niugini 1(3):212-221. Bourke, R. M. (1975). An Aerial Look at the Lelet Plateau, New Ireland, Niugini 1(2)s62. Brookfield, H. C. and Hart, D. (1966). Rainfall in the Tropical Southwest Pacific. Australian National University, Dept. of Geography Publication G/3. Hohnen, P. D. (1970). Geology of New Ireland, Bureau Mineral Resources Record 1970/ 49. Wilde, K. A. (197S). More Caves of the Le let Plateau New Ireland. Nillgini Caver 1): 6-12. * * * THE NEW CONTRIBUTORS LHkyna Ismel is a villager from the Lelet Plateau of New Ireland. He is deeply involved in traditional 1i fe on the plateau and is a village headman. He re9ularly visits and uses caves on the plateau. Henry Shannon started caving in and has subsequently become one of the best known cavers in Austr;lia. He has caved all over Australia, particularly in N.s.w. and Cueensland, and in f\'ew Zealand. He came to P.N.G. for the . 'I 5 LelPt expedition. His main interests are underground geomorphology and t-:ydrology, but caving interests cover a very wide field. He is a member of the Sydney University Speleological Society and the University of Que•ensland S.S. John Webb has been an active caver and member of the u.u.s.s. since 1971. He is interested in vertical caving and is also a rockclimber. He came to P.N,G. to participate in the 1972 New Britain expedition and for the '7S lelet trip. Paul Wilson is an ex-British caver who settled in Chillagoe severAl years ago to explore the caves there and work as a cave guide. The lelet trip was his fhst P. f'l1.G. caving. He is a member of the Chillagoe Caving Club and the Harwell Exploration Group (England). * * *


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