Niugini Caver

previous item | next item

Niugini Caver

Material Information

Niugini Caver
Series Title:
Niugini Caver
Papua New Guinea Cave Exploration Group
Port Moresby, PNG: Papua New Guinea Cave Exploration Society (PNGCEG)
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Regional Speleology -- Newsletters
serial ( sobekcm )
New Guinea -- Papua New Guinea -- Oceana

Record Information

Source Institution:
Australian National University
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
This item is licensed with the Creative Commons Attribution License. This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon this work, even commercially, as long as they credit the author for the original creation.
Resource Identifier:
K26-05667 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.5667 ( USFLDC Handle )

USFLDC Membership

Karst Information Portal
Added automatically

Postcard Information



This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text


. ' . I Volume 5 Number 2 October 1977 ---=,,.-__ _ Publication of the Papua New Guinea Cave Exploration Group Registered at the General Post Office, Port Moresby for transmission by post as a Qualified Publication


NUIGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 2 31 Caver is the publication of the Papua New Guinea Cave Exp oration Group, association of persons engaged in speleology in Papua.New Guinea. Volume 5 Number 2 November, 1977. Quarterly. Price 90 toea per issue. K3.50 per annum. Editor Malcolm Pound P. Box 3824, Port Moresby, National Capital District, PAPUA NElJ GUINEA Assistant Editor Alison Pound Production of Last Number M • D • and A • A • Pa u n d , N • S t e wart , ahd J. Atkinson and A. Goulbourne. Contents Page The New Toktok Bilong Ed1ta •• Caves of Kiriwina, Trobraind Islands, Papua New Guina2. c. Ollier and o. Holdsworth •••••••••••••• International Conference in TurkeY•••oo•••o•••••••••• Europe's Largest Cave T. Kesselring and w. Impressions of the ?th International Speleological Congress R. M. Caving New Contributors 31 32 33 42 50 55 59 David Holdsworth is a lecturer in Chemistry at UPNG Port Moresby. David's involvement in caving comas from his interest in and-the fact that in PNG many caves are archaeological sites. Willi Grimm is a Swiss speleo who has visited many cave areas ths world and is well known in Australia. Along with Thomas Kesselring, he wrote the article on H6lloch in this issue. Cover PhotQ.Q..Jl.b . Prof. B5gli on a ladder pitch in Burgerschadt, H6lloch, Switzerland. Prof. A. Bogli is responsible for extensive research on Holloch. Photograph by Pali Berg (AGH).


;32 NUIGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER Z TOKTOK BILONG EDITA Recently a team of four speleologists, from the Papua New Guinea Cave Exploration Group spent just over a week working with geologists of the.Geological Survey.of Papua New on the Ok Menga, a tributary of the Ok Tedi. The speleologists were assisting the geologists in gaining access to the interior a narrow overhanging limestone gorge to enable them to determine the suitability of the gorge for a hydto-electric scheme to supply power to the proposed Ok Tedi copper development. Llithout speleologists and their specalised skills and equipment, would have had great difficulties in gaining access to the interior of the gorge. This is not the first time that tho Guinoa Cave Exploration Group cavers have assisted the government. In May June, Mike Bourke previously of D. A. s. F. and G. Jacobson joined a Commonwealth Department of party conducting a preliminary investigation for a hydro-electric scheme on the lJ a ga River , a t.r.i b u tar y of the Kiko r i River • The cavers were investigating and features which will cause problems of water from water storages constructed on the river. These speleologists are asked to participate. show that caving useful applications in Papua New Guinea where so much of the terrain is of. limestone with mostly 1under ground drainage. Usually cavernous. limestone is regarded as.a nuisance td schemes as the underground hydrblogy cannot be easily defined. However, in those countries where speleology is a well established the knowledge of speleology has enabled many hydro-electric schemes to tap ground streams origina]y discovered by speleologists in their . explorations. It be hoped that the activities of in New Guinea will be encouraged by tl1e authorities. Explorations carried out both by locally based cavers arid overseas caving expeditions that come to the country and whose results are information which will be of value to the govarnment of Papua New On specific karst the assistance of the Papua New Guinea Cave Exploration Group is always available and it is hoped that the chance to assist in the future will be forthcoming. !\J I u G L ii.! I Cl\ l.J En v 0 um E 5 Nu MB ER 2 33 ES _DF K TR I A NQ__I SJ-A ND S PA PUA NElJ GU I NEA c. Da Ollier* and D. K. Holdsworth** l ntroduct.lQ.D The Trob:;; nd northeast coa. itH;: across at its :J cup (}f slands is situated 160km off the t of and north uf' tlrn D rosst isln , Kiriwina, is 50km long and 15km hi id e s t po :i n c ,, Th e P op u l t t on f K i :;:: w .i n a si a b o u t 1 2 51 0 0 O people pre s e n t s a very great variety of physical types but all speak Kiriwini and . th , ' . ' ' nei P l.rJgin or

34 NUIGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER : The cave is sc::iid to be ;;lace from (.thich the original Trobriand woman emerged. We did not discover the origin of the men. Inside the cave is a and insignificant stalagmite which is said to be the baby, left behind by the first woman. It falls far short of the the imaginary personalitiec. in many show cavesp but perhaps when the lGgend 2tnrted it a greatgr ssGmblance to a baby than n ow a n d c o n t i .. n u 2 cJ n. r c t 5. D n rn. n \! h n 'l o s ;-: _, :: c r.i t h c .:L rn a g e o The ca\Je is cl ffJ .Li: .. 1 oc:.:iL:>r: a beinq I'C'l..Jghly spiral., The entrance loads into o large chamber, frcm whic:1 one route leads down to a lake, a another up to a bons passage which in part, directly above the lskea Much of the cave is due to collapse, and the long straight north eastern wall is the side of a straight collapse tunnel of arcute cross section. This cave cbntai!1s many small bats, living in a chamber above the water, and in the a b crayfish was seen (known locally as kiu) and long (known as ;rc:obuadi)., The guides uare ;omewhat un',Jilling to show us the bone passage, though ether bCJnu cavoo WG had seen were treated with no respect at all. Some of th2 skulls sh holes and double holes. The bones, especially fresh, but a few bones were found E: tuck to CJ i"i l1 r b ), 8a1 c r G t e., A large clar11 rJas p:resent in the ca\Je.,. There is a leg1gonds t"Oid by our guides;; thc. t i :1 e, ci. snt t5_mes 1 3 man were lost in this eave and never ret1.irncd The same socms to be attributed also to Origiveka This is probably tho largest cave on ths and one of the most difficult to We were not ablo to survey ite A few ropes and helmets aro rocnmmended for futuro oxploration. Tho cave is probably at least 18Dm and over 30m wide4 The ceiling is high, and the floor i3 cc.:o:ced by f2.llen blocks, some of which are the size of ho u s e s (I T h G :c o a .:. \3 ; -. :J. n y [-;a t s ? a n d t h o r e i s o 3 t r ea m or 1 on g pa o 1 on the eastcrri b" Somo large stala cti. tes and columns a re present; but decoration not thG ciominant of this cave. There is said tc bo 2 hiddGn passage leading from somewhere on the 1 ef t side of thG r:n-1 n ce to a very extensive and it is said that an early missicnsry spent a whole day exploring this cave. The loo .d of ths 13 mon who entered the cave and never returned is also to this cavG. NUIGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 2 35 mare modern story is that the American forces stored materials in the cave,_and one version is that the entrance may have been blasted to hide their and possibly blocking the entrance to the extensive passages. It is possible that when the Americans left' they hinted about useful things left inside because a craze for digging inside the cave. When man of d7gging with a magic hoe and finding the treasure, very like a cargo cult developed, and the Administration was obliged tp stop all digging in the cave. exploration failed to find any sign of blasting, of of any cargog or even any indication of much digging. Tuweria Cave (Nearest villageg Moligilagi. See Figures 1 and 3) An elliptical collapse hole leads down to the three chambers up this cave. The main part is about 90rn by 30m, but was not accurately surveyrod because we could not safely descend the steep shown on the section. There many bats in the CqVe and deep,slippery guano makes the going treacherous. As in other caves there was quite a lot of flowstone but evidence of large scale collapse was particularly evident here. Tumwalau Cave (Kumwalau) Village, Moligilagi. This cave is a few hundred metres south of Tuweria. See Figures 1_add 4) The cave is reached by a road is almost driveable and outside the entrance is a large, concrete pad the of a pumping station used during the Allied occupation. The entrance chamber is large and high, with many stalactites on roof. The floor consists of fallen blocks covered with clay and -guano. Beyond this ;LS a .pool about 20m across whrch must be swum to gain access to the cave beyond. The further parts of the cave consist of long and relatively narrow passages and sometimes with several interconnectjng nroads" running roughly parallel to each other. There is a dominant horizontal structure in the limestone iri the form of Some chambers are Hplatytv she:8ts or of lim,estone projecting into the cave. Phreatic is well butpockets and pressure tubes have cross section with horizontal loGg axes. Instead of common between solution pockets there are near horizontal projections of rocks which we n salients Vertical joints a re well exposed in many of the rifts and clearly dominant in the plan.


36 NUIGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 2 There is quite a lot of life in this cave, including cave crabs. Some large ones are red, but others are small, white and almost are white fish in the pool. Long legged insects are said to be fairly common, but we did not see Both flying foxes and small bats live in the Native names for thase animals are: rGd crabs = lakum; whita = pwaku; small bats = sigunoguna; flying foXGs = m.igiaweda/) No archaeological r-emains have been found in this cave. Kuvwau .. Cav(Nearest Village, Okaiboma. See figures 1 and 5) The cave is .reached by tJalking about a kilometre south of Okaibome. along the beach and cutting inland, where a number of shelves and shallow caves are found in the cliffso This small cave has an entrance almost blocked off by a grill of dripstone columns, making it almost a Chockstones have been artificially between the columns in an effort to close up the cave. Insido the cave are a great many human bones. These are lying in disordor and no complete skeletons or even limbs can be determinedSeveral skulls had neat holes in the crowno ?lwagai Ca.Y....i (Nearest Village, Kwabula, See Figures 1 and 6) This is one 1of the most decorated caves and would be a possible tourist cave if access tJas not so difficulL It. can be reached only after a 1.o ng w a 1 k a cross a b u s h covered co r a 1 rid go s t re tJ n with irregular and sharp edged boulderso The eastern half of the cave is an irregular and fairly narrow dry chamber with aamount cf stalactite and stalagmite formation and a red earth floor instGad of the guano and rock found in most of Kiriwina caveso In tho west is a large chamber with some splendid tha northwast cornor is a pool which appears . sump within a short and in thG southwest is dr passage, a few bones wer0 found. This cave has an opening in the roof 9 an round hole surrounded by stalactites. Kodawa Cav? (Nearest Village, See Figures 1 and 7) This feature is: not' .o. true cave but a centote, similar to the soml! called ncavesH of the Mt. Gambier region of South Australia. It is a roughly about 30m by 12m, with steep plunging beneath the water. The walls are often overhanging, and about 6m high above the water surfacea The walls appear to outwards below the water level, and the water is estimated to be about 12m deep. It is fresh, .extremely clear and still:i and contains small black fish.-NUIGINI CAVER VOLUME 6 NUMBER 2 37 An interesting feature is the shelf at one end of the cenote. This is about 2m above the present water level, with a notably flat floor about 1.6m wide. It was fprmed presumably by some kind of undercutting when the lake was higher than at present.' Obaturum (Nearest Village, Llawela. See Figures 1 and 8) The cave is divided into three chambers by a large mass of stalagmite. At the north is an entrance chamber, with a slippery downward sloping in the south is a low ceilinged chamber with a lake a metre deep that probably sumps9 and in the east is a dry chamber. This was originally a few bones are present now. We also found a large shell and two fragments of old pottery that might come from urns. Siku Cave Kumilabwaga. See Figure 9) It is a typical collapse cave, fairly large, with the form of an irregular tunnel, and contains several lakes of fresh water. Many bats live in the cave, which is largely floored by guano. Speleothem decoration is extensive, some being white and active. No archaeological material such as bone, shell or pottery was found. Negu}la (Nearest Village, Kumilabwaga. See Figure 10) The cave descends steeply, is much modified by collapse, and contains abundant stalagmite formationo A rift at the base of the main chamber leads to a second pool in an uncollapsed chamber. The entrance to the cave is an oval sink hole with an imcomplete rim, the missing side facing the sea. No bats or other living things were noted. A few sea shells and pottery fragments were found, but no bones, although a longer search could probably turn up-a few. There is one crypt consisting of a chamber under a large fallen block, partly barricaded by a wall built of chunks of coral. Tbs is very like the crypts we have found elsewhere, and was used to conceal or protect burials (see, for instance,p. 45 in Ollier,Holdsworth and Heers, 1971a). These features clearly indicate that the cave was formerly used as a place for interring the bones of the dead, a custom described in our earlier papers.



40 NUIGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 2 Au-sten (f93'9)-repo-rts the-t __ _i t t:Jas ___ a_ .. .cu-s.t_om-of the-"irotrri.andars..._ to ............. . bury ttyeir dead for a time ter them.. and transfer t-he . into the caves, sometimes in pots In Kuvwau, _ we found one large clam shell, and another in Laba1.,_ of pottery were found in Obaturum Cave, l.Jawela. Funerary pots, if _; orig.inally-vresent, LJ-ould. very probably have been stolen by. now .• There are repo-:r;ts that this happened many years ago at Laba1 Cave. There are said. to be caves in the south of the islp.nd that still contain pots9 Exhumatiqn and of would for the scatci.ty of small bo-nes mentioned ea}:'lier, and for the fact that the bones .... a.pp.ear to be in bundles11 in some caves, The bones we of .normal size, but there are reports very large whiqh may fit with other sto:ies ?f a race of giants who lived on Kiriwina before.the pre&ent inhabitants. Geomorphology .-* Kiriwina was once a: coral Uplift relative to sea level caused the atoll to emerge and fotm the present island; the old .. lagoon is now centre of the island, and the old makes a ring of hills over 50m around the edge the .islanda ' When 6oral islands of sufficiebt.size they hold a lens of and tends to be concentrated at the surface of the where primary caves formede Subsequently, may be by collapse and growth of speleotherms. Such appears be the origin of the lJe had thought that 5.s1and caves might be distinctive, even possibly retair1ing initial cavities from the time when the island was still a reef. In fact, we were unable to -detect any such features, and normal karst caves. That the caves w;;;:e initiated near the wa tertable seems from their present position and from\tha cavys still contain we rarely. much indication of the, •• o+iginal solutionaJ. form becauDe. of "the of subsequent alteration due to collapse, and thaExtsnsive deposits of flowstone on walls. A fairly common of coral island caves generally is the development of' major flow lines that tunnel shaped caves leading towards the sea" Or KiJ:iwina9 . only Tumwakau even approxini'ates to this type of., and no large cave opens onto the srrore. Perhaps the coral of KiriwinB. _is more t? than the average1:1 The of a.:cenote (Kodawa) is interesting. This sort of feature is typical ;of young __ karst generally, but we had not expected to: find one on a co.ral islando NUIGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 2 41 Apart from the shelf on one wall of Kodawa, none of the caves shows any evidence of a number of distinct stages in ment. From the cave evidence9 it would seem that the island was uplifted fairly rapidly and that there has been only one main period of cave formationo The geomorphology of Tumwalau poses special problems. Coral islands may be uplifted by earth movements in several distinct stages, and at each stage a new reef grows at the sea level. With successive uplifts9 the island comes to have a series of steps or terraces (Figure 12). This is obvious on Kitava Island9 which has a least five terraces, clearly visible from-the sea. The situation on Kiriwina is not so obvious, but there is a bench at about 30m above sea claatly indicating at least two peiiods of-uplift of the island. The entrance to Tumwalau is at the junction of this bench and the hill inland from it, and Tumwalau appears to be an old cave largely associated with the old sea level at the time of the 30m terrace formationo Other caves on Kiriwina are more likely to be associated with the present day level. Another unusual feature is the dominantly horizontal structure of the inher parts of Tumwalau. This reflects horizontal features in the reek structure, and suggests that this cave is formed in horizontally thin bedded limestones of a lagoonal Growino coral lives on the outer side of the and grows outwards, and upti.Jards if possible without .. E3.nce. Breaking wavos batter the reefand eroqed coral 'debris .. dt1ltrn' :the .,s.H:M':of' ,>feaf, a:c-6Gmulat'Ing with. a _:'ste_ep :; •:: ... In the limeston8 accumulates an'd is frequently thin-bedded in nearly horizontal (Figure 13).-This mode of formation of coral islands produces three kinds of limestone or facies the which has steeply dipping bedded limestone9 the :ceef facies which is ge;_nerally unbedded and contains a lot of coral in position of lagoon facies which is hotizohta1ly Nearly: all the Trobriand Island caves are formed in the reef . facies. But Tumwalau, appears to be one cave that. has extended into the lag6on facies9 which accounts for its horizontal structure. More. ti f y i ng than the however, is the extensive development of phroatic features, .that is solutional features developed beneath a watertable. One might have expected caves formed high on the island would be most likely to develop vadose that is formed above the zone of water saturationp but the reverse is the case. The best development of phroatic features is found in the caves


42 NUIGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 2 at high levels, such as Tumwalau, but also including some of the high caves an the island of Kitava. The best development of vadose features is found in caves close to the present sea levsl, such as Bwabwatu cave on Kaileuna Island. This anomalous suitation is difficult to explain. One can only surmise that any phreatic caves being formed at the present time are inaccessible to exploration, and that in the older, higher collapse and modification has rendered the phreatic portions 'ccessible. Acknowledgments. For help in locating, reaching and exploring the Kiriwina caves we wish to thank Mr. M. J. Eden, Mr. T. Ward, Mr. T. Cosgrove and Mr. B. Egloff. Tumwalau was throughly explored before our visits by Mr. R. Lawton, who made his extensive knowledge of the system available to us. We also wish to thank G. Heers who assisted thq authors and R. Lawton in surveying the cave. References Austen, L. 1939 : Regalithic Structures in the Trobriand Islands (1) 30 -53. Ollier, c. o., D. K. 1968 Caves of Kiriwina, Islands, Papua. Hslicite, : 63 -72. O 11 i er , C • D • P H o 1 d s worth , D • K • 1 9 71 g Fu rt her Ca v e s of K i r.i win a , Trobriand Islandsp Papua. E 77 -84. Ollier, c. D., o. K., Heers, G •. 1971a : Cauos of Kaileuna and Tuma, Trobriand Islands. Helicits, ! : 29 48. Ollier,.c. o., Holdeworth, o. K., Heers, G. 11'11b: rurther Cave• of Kitava, Trobriand Islande, Papua. Helicite, : 2 : 61 70. INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE IN TURKEY The SpeJ..eologi,cal ,S;oc!ety of Turkey is organising an international congress for the period September 3rd -24th, 1978. There will be field trips in Turkey after the conference. This could be very interesting as there are extensive kerst areas in Turkey. Correspondence should be addressed to: Dr. Temucin Aygen, P.K. 229 Bakanliklat, Ankara, TURKEY. NUIGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 2 sguya t.unihtbwag.ia ... 1kau 0 10 __ .J"::."". -' ---.....1 .. 1 km l ... oca.tion Id Gave Looa.t!on .. w. Raef' Boundary Cava and Village LQaatione


44 CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 2 NUIGINI 29 o&..........--.-s---m filJ.Al f igura 2 entrance 1 I IUWERI8 figure 3 ._{!_ ___ N ' \ m t!!t1t4li.LfilJ f .:igur-a 4 NUIGlNI CAUER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 2 shelf v 00 DO OC6 0 K.Ull!.WA f1gu;t-e 7 45


46 NUIGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUM!ER 2 N Q SIKAU figure 9 NUIGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 2 a I I m QBATUBUl!I figure a opening_ N r q ___ ,_.,,s m N.E.GUY8' figure 10 47


48 NlJIGINI CAVER q_ m VOLUME 5 NUMBER 2 i:.-._ n trance 4m above beach KA LOP/.\ figure 11 NUIGINI CAVER VQLUME ••I TWO PHOTOGRAPHS OF HUMAN BONES. IN KALOPA CAVE. 5 2 49 . I I . \ .. ! '',) : ' ' ' , , I j'


50 NUIGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 2 HDLLOCH -EUROPE'S CA\l! Thomas Kesselring* and Willi Grimm** History H5lloch (Hell-hole) is situated in the middle of Switzerland. At the moment the largest cave of Eurasia and within world ranks, only the Flint Ridge -Mammoth Cave is exceeding it. There is just one entrance which gives access to more than 130km of passages. It takes two days of travelling underground to reach the remotest regions of Holloch. However this is only when all needed equipment (ropes, ladders and rubber din9.hies) place. In the speleologicial scene of Europe, Holloch is a unique phenomenon. The following article should give the Papua Guinean caver some information on this, the largest cave in Switzerland. Situation, Karst Hydrology and Geology Holloch lies in the Muotatal (Muota Valley), in the canton of Schwyz, 15km east ,of Vierwaldstattersee of Lucerne)• In comparison with the huge cave system of Holloch,. the .. karst area where it is situated is rath'-r small. The water comes from a surface of only 22 km:. Yet, the annual rainfall high: arn average of All a spring on the valley floor0 The discharge in winter is 300 litres per second and in summer 1000 to 5000 litres per second. The resurgence iies about 640 m above sea The highest the collecting surface is 2314m •• Holloch1s lowest point is a short distance the entrance in a side passage. Here a siphon with its surface at the level the :esurgence was dived 15m below this levela Holloch1s highest point 1s to be found deep within the cave system, at the top of an aven, about 30m under the surface. Holloch is in Europe, one of the few caves where passages mount many hundreds of metres upwards. Its entrance is at 734rn a.s.l., and the passages between 625 and 145Dm a.s.l •• Today we distinguish three parts which are connected with each other. a) The major system, starting from the entrance goes 6km (beeline) into the mountain, ranging .in altitude from 640 to 1000m a.s.l •• It dips from south to north, where the passages submerge at the groundwater level0 To reach the ends of this major system one walks about 10km of tunnels, mostly steeply ascending or downdipping. Altogether one climbs about 700m difference in height, Member A GH. ** Jubilaumsstr 9 Ch 3005 Bern Switzerland. NUIGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 2 51 only to be at the same level again as one started. b} Another system lies between 980 and 1450 1 It m a.s. •• over-lies most of the first half of the major system. Up to now over 30km are surveyed in this part of the cave, known as ''Hochsystemn (High System). c) The third system also lies at about 300m above the major However, it the passages towards the end the maJor systemg tlGottergangn and ualockgang" (Passage of the Gods and Passage of the Boulders) lie at 1000 to 1250m Thes'e th_ree parts are suitated in the 11schrattenn limestone of the lower Cretaceous. The major system passes through tha "Silbern formation. They are separated by an impermeable The systems in the two formations are connected at t(wo "Regenschlotii (a 90m high aven) and ifLJassergangn a enlarged squeeze). To pass through it one lies in water at ' Exploration Teams The H5llo6h Research Group (HRG) is the body co-ordinating all tbe Its scientific leader is Prof. Dr. Alfred 80911 of Karst Phenomena, Department of Geography, University of Frankfurt D, and Professor of Karst Hydrology College$ CH). Although A. BBgli and othe; th? Society of Speleology, HRG remains organisation, independent of SSS. Its founders came originally from the,Swiss Alpine Club but HRG is independent of this as well. for last 10 years a group of SAC have worked under Peter Res .Wildberger. They push very difficult leads J.1.71 the region and in the western high system in loose association with HRG. ' History of Exploration HBlloch seems.not have been known before 1870. Even though its is suitated at the end of a chasm, close to a village, the first entry did not take place until 1875 The discoverer, Aloia Ulrich$ is a native of Muota Valley •• Up to 1901 . the cave .. not explored beyond 900m where a 40m high wall, 'Bose Wand ri barred the way. It was January 1 902 when this was mastered and some 3600m were mapped. In single caver penetrated two more kilometres but was not carried on._A Belgique Society Ltd. commer cialised s?me 60Dm for tourists. Unfortunately, high water flooded this part evGry year and the electric instalationa were torn away. Disappointed, the cave was neglected for eeveral years. In 1949 a new exploration period started. It


'52 NUIGINI VOLUME 5 NUMBER 2 It was the SSS (leader Andre Grobet) and the SAC (leader,Hugo NDnlist) who recommended a serious survey, In 19SO Prof, Alfred s5gli and three fellow cavers were trapped by high water, cut off from the Dutside fat ten days, The news swept across Europe and made H51loch a quite cave. Since this accident, exploration period is restricted to wihter only, December until February. The major system was basically explored and mapped in 19S9, its 70th kilometra mappad in 1960, At this time, H5lloch was the_, largest cave in the world. Besides the tunnel like passages ,-(w • 1Dm, h = Sm), numerous small and narrow tubes were known. Many of them in places, subjected to the yearly flood, Penetrat,.. .. ing further is dangerous, even in winter. Elliptical profiles prevail in the major system. Even though this part of the cave yields an impressive variety of shapes, it does not show any dripstone formations and only a few lakes and creeks. Since 1965 this has changed. With the aid of up to 12m long scaling poles, avens and chimneys were conquered. In this manner promising leads were found. After blasting away a chopking rock1 the way was open to the high system. At the same Gubser disbovered the 11G(ittergang" in the remotest part at the cave. HBllbch was no a single system ; there were two more to be Since 1966 HRG works in small groups and members interchange freely. The lonQ stays underground climax in well sitated bivouacs. The first waa set up in 19S1, two years later tha In 1966 seven, and today even 12 bivouacs. Some of the keen explorers have sleepihg bags deposited in various places. Even in the fifties, it was common to stay S to 8 days underground, The peak of exploration is between Chtistmas and the third of Januaty. Llith the break through to the high system, it became necessary to erect bivouacs deeper within the cave. Without them it have been impossible to reach virgin passages unless 3 days were spent underground. The group of Paul Berg's was the first to realise several long duration expeditions in the same winter. Some eavers more than SOD hours (21 days!) in the one season in HBlloch. The longest stay in a row was 19 days. What are a) High From the placed in the hitjh system (1966) 4 to 7km were mapped each year. In 1969 results decreased and the leads seemed to become hard to push. Yet, it was in this time, some of most beautiful passages were found. an upper of the high system, 200 -2SDm underneath the surface (400 NUIGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 2 53 Orn above the entrance) an i t . t by bit. Flowstone formations was discovered,bit mbundant and very colourful At th y Holloch are . creeks and huge under ro • e same time a series of more 5km. totalling in the upper levels some 300 s several impressive streams major system where dropmh:bovte bthe dry passages of the J 8 o e searched for. "Regen?chlot•v (rainy aven) ri ed . . the high system Both 99 in 1 9 70 is a new access to should there create some difficulties long distances. her: i are very narrow for naw section about 300m above group of Pedro Ghelfi in a one has re.ached the highest \ h7gh • It is here that ,, the Here too the Holloch -only 30m below . rs ive bat was recorded in 19761 There is. not much hope' of aini . The few passages still to 5e e ng more kiloi:iet:as up here. way leads to them . y are difficult and a long below the surface . A lot f • he ! three spots are only 60m ' in the region of the be checked, mainly an area 140x70m two kilomet l s in the East). Here in vertical, 20% steep of has been 70% promising .lead is an almost 100e remaining 10% horizontal. A 1.0. cm of it cold (4io ) t m ong tube, 30 -40 cm high b , . 2 C wa er. A 1 though t ' no ody was keen enough to negotiate breeze blows, IVG'. . . ottergangu and nslockgangn Systems In. February ,1967 1 2km awa fr climbed artifically, Ii a SOm high aven f 1 ssure passage'> Here the tion was a six metre high 2minu,tes away Holloch 18 t t t e:t was erected, Only oomn (Black Dorne\ op a . raction The nschwarzer entrance well by 66 m and up to BOm high. Its This giant room will be up 50m above the floor. A second entrance into it o under water each summer. ceiling. Up there another found in February 1976 in its metres above the ceiling It was mapped a few iful dripstone formation; some of the most beautthis fissure passage re;ched has to offer. The end of by rockso On the . a . ew Years Eve 1976, is blocked "Blockgang" was likely the The and mud and after climbing a of digging through sand passage. Should the two 8 n •. metre almost vertical be joined together' it Gottergang': and HBlockgang" two entrances. Here two a second high system with Today total leAgth are still unexplored.


54 NUIGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 2 Sucfabe Exgloration Each summer Profsssor B5gli conducts scientific research on the' karst above Hlilloch9 without much until summer 1975. Two small caves of about a.hundred metres length and a ?Orn deep pit were found. The surprise came after blowing up a bottle neck in a narrow tube with a strong breezee A series of up to 70m deep shafts led underground. In summer 1976 sevAral kilometres of passage was mapped anrl long stretched halls were discovered. fhe major hazard is the of parts of the system. It was early this year when cavers could fo.llow down the summer flood VJays to a depth of 371m. aMammut Munstern (Mammoth Dome) was found9 a gigantic room of 110 x 85 m and a height of 77ml Its volume being about 26090003m. Today9 59671.5m are mapped. 1.5km more are known. This cave is called IVSchwyzerschachtn (Pit of Switz Switz is the canton in which H5lloch lies and i1Schwyzer schacht n is explored by cavers from Switz). 0Schwyzerschacht" is only 2km from HBlloch. It is nbt impossible to connect the two caves in the area of HGottergangn or "Blockgangn. However, some 300m in elevation change has to be overcome. Equipment In all parts of the cave where exploration is going an, ropes and even ladders are left in Many of these spots are visited every ya?r• Some wire ladders have been the ca8se of abcidents because of total corrosion. Thus, they have to bo replaced frequentlyo A caver once fell due to a ladder rip-off but . miraculously was not severly injured (the body belay als6 failed). Until a few years ago all the exploring groups of AGH (HRG) used ropes and wiis laddGrs. However9 since 1972 the group of Paul Berg has also used jumars9 rappel racks and other related devibes. Many of the avens have been conquorcid with the aid of scaling . poles. They consist of 2rn long aluminium tubes joined together by sleevgs to give 12m poleso Tho throe lakes which have to be crossed are equipped with solid plastic boats. Previously, inflatable rubber dinghies ware used. Over two more lakes a tyrollienne is The (HRG) today has 70 members. Many of them are active mountaineers, have specialised in speleology. So it comes, that different methods of climbing and even rappeling are practised. D i.c::.ted mountaineers climb whenever possible9 and descend in a Swiss seat. Dedicated cavers climb with pitions and descend with the rack or similar gear. Each year a technical training camp on the.programme to introduce nbvices. A search and rescue gr6up is well organised. The result of a severe accident in January 1969 in the "G.6ttergang11 A caver with a broken leg after a rock fall. The rescue went on for 5 days and convin ed every member of the necessity for such an organisationo .. .. CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 2 55 N I 0 100 swITZERLANO Showing the location of Htilloch km JMJ'RESSIONS OF THE ?TH INTERNATIONAL . ..... SPELEOLOGICAL Ro Michael Bourke* 7th International Spelsolo.ic. i c . of Sheffield, was held at the congress, papers were presented !977. At the week list.seminars, such as karst sections and 7 . ontation and mountain karst hydrogeology, International Union of Sp;l ings of the 12 ternational Cave Rescue were als? held and: the ons were organised during th d met. Caving and tourist to elides and movies C . e ays, and the evenings were re, Wales and Ireland• aving camps and excursions in fild meeting' and and. a f.ter the ou places in Britain met at . tee f'rom 28 countries at' meeting. There ,w.ere s:om.e 750 resented by Michael Papua New rrom Europe, but there was al . nd l Tim Sproci'! Most delegates States, and smaller groups Aartge lciont1ngent from the ountries. m us ra a, Canada and Roamlyn Hill, Hampstond London N 11 3 E 1 d , , .w. , ng an • Qra teful to the Un t . -grant of $A40 t J iversi Y of Student's Union 1 wa1 organised attend the Congress. !mty. 81 Y 0 Queensland Speleological


56 NUIGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 2 At any one time there ware from five to nine meetings so one person's appreciation of the Congress would be diff erent to another person's. Apart from the lack of translation facilities the Congress was well organised. At registration, each was given an envelope other things, the Congresa proceedings and excellent gu1debqoks.of the Yorkshire Dales, Southern England and South Wales? and karst areas. The first day was devoted to the usual speeches, the presidential address (HThen Now11) by_Dr •. Tratman of Great Britian and papers on caving regions and caving in the British Isles. The last mentioned provided useful background. information for overseas The highlight of the presid ential address was a film made by Tratman in the. 1930'e. Over the five days, I attended a variety of and meetings of the commissions •. The longest and deepest caves. ':. commission held two meetings at which conventions for surveying and recording were thrashed out. These will be published and distributed by the commission chairman, Claude Chabert of France. One of the decisions reached was that cave development length rather than plan length Yill be used for purposes of The former utilises traversed cave length and includes the height of No firm was reached as to whether the of large such as are found in P.N.G. and other tropical areas should be included in the depths of caves that ara found at bottom of the doline. However the concensus be that for vertical walled dolines, such as the doline near Village, New Sri tian the deptb. would be include.d Jn the cave de!'th. Country by country lists of the longest.and world. were compiled by Chabert and published in a special e)d1tion of Spelunca in time for the Congress (Chabert et al., 1?77 • These lists show that there are 45 caves from .ed as longer than Selminum Tem9 half of being in the United are 97 caves from 15 countries as than 74 of which are in France, Italy, Spain or . The largest'river cave noted in this report, apart from Tobie in the Southern Highlands,is in Oumanli Cave in the Taurus Mountains of The resurgence of this cave has a mean flow of about 50 m et al., 1977). If the estimated rivsr flow in Jobio (85-113 m /sec) is accurate,_the record for the largest pave is held by Papua New Guinea. t a sessions karst. At one of these ( karet) bave Brook of England gave the only paper on Papua New Guinea •. tn interesting presentation, Brook traced the of Tern and related this to and •. Dr. Balbzs Hungary, in his HThe Geo-climatic Provinces of' karstificationi1 , defined three regions where is likely greatest. These are the Appalachian-Caribbean NUIGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 2 57 Province, the European Province, and the South-east Asian and oific The last named has the greatest area of the three provinces and includes the islands of the Bismarck Archipelago, Guinea9 the Indonesian Archipelago Malay P ninsula and parts of mainland Aaia that include Indochina 1"11ailand, Burma, Southern China and the Himalayas. It is thm least known karst region in the world, U ing some of Balazs' data, s. Lang of Hungary demonstrated linear relationship between annual rainfall and karst The highest both parameters was from From a paper by G. A. Brook (U0S.A0 ) and D. (Canada), I was interested to learn of a form of tower rat discovered in 1971 in northern Canada. Tower karst is n t restricted to the humid tropics it seems0 . My_moat interesting day was spent at the Cave Rescue Conference. pars on. rescue organisation in Wales and Yorkshire and . on B now stretcher were presented, amongst others. A damonetration of particular relevance to Papua New Guinea cavers hol,Jt:ld techniques whereby a caver could help a companicn in t ubld on a single rope without the help of other cavers The hniques utilized equipment that would normally be carried u_h as karabiners and slings. I came away from the day with9a Q nntor awareness of the risks taken in earlier days, particU rly on reconnaissance trips in isolated areas0 were numerous other interesting papers presented and these I others can be rsad in the Proceedings which are from B. Ellis, 30 Main Road, Westonzoyland9 Bridge-ta , Somerset, TA? DEB, England for about . fortunately pars aro in English w!th some in French German and h , The.requirement for pre-publishing proceedings n .. that brief abstracts only are given for some papers. IVJost pers in the proceedings concern caves and karst of Ll ncluding the UoS.SoR •• There are a limited number . tH' ri n North A me r i c a ( Can ad a and U • S • A • ) , us t r a 1 as i a : , U t liep New Zealand and P.N.G.)9 the CaribbeanCentral Loian region, Africa and Western Asia. Personally I would N lik to have seen fewer scientific contributions from t"J, nd .niore papers of the 0caves of rUndanao Island11 or C pcnHtion to Peruo variety. n 16t of interest in P.N.G. and Irian Jaya at the ran For many people9 the latter is the last great unknown. I? r1 nm n Y h o u : s w i t F re n c h 9 S w i s s , A u stria n si B e 1 g i a n ta n d ,1 h onvors discussing prospoctive expeditions to Papua New • I JJresanted about 50 slidos from P.N.G. with a fmw ,E,Aaia, New Caledonia and Australia one evaning. The that rscoivsd the best reception, both at Shoffiold and M o, waru those of the giant dolines of Now Oritian.


'NUIGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 2 58 People were incredulous that nobody has descended the spectacular doline near TukB Village (see. cover photo Nu:!Jlini caver. 5(1) }. Another evening Sid Perou showed rushes from the New Guinea 75 film together with slides, I could not attend, but heard that the film is very and was well receivedo After the Congress, we went to the Yorkshire Dales on ons of the official. camps, This was attended by Americe:cr1,. German, Australian and Canadian cavers together with the English guides. The Dales is a beautiful area. I was especially taken with the limestone fences. A tiny village with two caving •upply shops and a caver's pub wasn't hard to get used to! The accommodation w•s at Clapdale Farmhouse, medieval fortified manor house that has been modernised by the Lancaster University Speleological Society. It even boasted a drying room. I did through trips of four Gaping Gill (11km passage lenght,-156m deep) that included a winch asceht of the 1D3m main shaft• a 1D hour trip in the complicated Ease Gill Cavern (33km where we were lost for some time at one stage; a through trip From Swinsto Hole to Valley Entrance in the West Kingsdals System (Bkm long), memorable for the beautiful down wet, clean pitches and the wet canals; and a quick trip through Short Drop Cave (2,4km long, 55m deep). In the latter we learnt that a Yorkshire caver's definition of a Udryu mean. s you only get wet half way to your knees. (Lengths and depths follow Brook e"t al •. , 1 972-1976). 1 The field trip and Congress were enjoyable and I renewed old friendships and made new ones. It was especially good to meet cavers from Europe and the u.s.A. with whom I had corresponded but never met. As always at such gathorings,the informal meetings were as valuable as the formal ones, \,!t3 were almost overwhelmed by the hospitality of the English cavers had been in P.N,G. in 75 for the hospitality they had received they explained, Any Papua New Guinea caver can be assured of a good reception Yorkshire. The next Congress will be in the U,S,A. in 1981. If thG cavers we met in Sheffield are any indication1 it should be good fun. References Brook, A. and D., Dav:'.es, G, M. and Long, M. H. (1972-1976). Northern Cave_.;:9 Volumes 1-40 541pp .. Dalesman Books. Chabert, C. et ,),• ( 1977). Les Grandes Ca vites . . S p e ... Q_'?, S up p o No 2 NUIGINI CAVEn VOLUME 5 NUMBER 2 59 Investi9ation K lJ' , • and M 1 1 evan ilda, Jim rnworth Alan Goulbourne a co m Pound spent from th 9 w o r k i n g in t h 8 o k 1 h' . t e rn lJ s r -2 n d Oct 0 b. 8 r . . enga gorge near the 0 T i C project, They were invest! t" . . . . .opper Mine For the Survey steep walled limestone gorge Post Courier of Monday 14th N• •J•• An arti 1 appeared in the will appear in Nuigini1C .ovembar on the trip and an article aver in due cour It see t r .. 1ce1ving a steady numb fms New Guin will be n•xt f . er o expedit1on9 f \ . u ew years. Plans f th . . 01areeae over the are well : ition roported in from Barcelona plans to .'.t en member team (9 rnon, 1 woman) uo-operate with "Atea _ngs and hopee to t11the area at the same tl Expedition that will be r>lilli f me. e Spanish tnn1 jJl b 1•M 11 or about six weeks fr d TI w • o away f ram,bu has been chosen as an am to /\ugust, The tinancial problems area in case logistic . em getting to the Muller Range, nm 1llms f th !.' . • • o. e Spainish expedition are . . ... roll ensi ve p rasp ectu 8 h b. ma;i.. nl Y spo rtl ng, A as een produced" I f i...1 . a re r;in hand; and trainin in t . ' rnuc, _ o. c le necrnssa ry ... ome time, Michael Bourke g h .he Pyrenees been underway day England, did f rn a c on d i t i on s • P'1i k e r e P d rt s t e b t a d v i. s e o n pa p u a N e tJJ on members have a greater abp o the briefing, the tic problems. recia ion of the likely end continential expedition t . . t on for participants appearedo.P.N.G. is France, An Hon Fran.caise de Speleologi 1; Journal of "La ric, The target area has y f ar? sporting t in the giant river ea e o e but are ruwaged and Hindenburg on New Britain, md: A tri. 1? member party it1on the following may come out in 1978 and the nnod for 1979 is a Swiss .. ton member team plfrom . The area to be. aims w!ll be mainly teau of New Ireland i y although 1 s one possibility being trian-Belgian expedit" . . t' rty in the field being for 1980, n Y in is n not been decided et g.ver ical caves. The 11 returning to the Hi' d • the:e is talk of n en urg Range in 1980.


60 NUIGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER Most of these expeditions are seeking local v assist preparations from the P.N.G. end and halp Pidgilb in the field. Papua New Guinea cavers int any of the expeditions can obtain contact addro information from Malcolm Pound or Michael Bou k Hampstead, London, England)o mtmrLi ra to t;h f"l 1 n lon d in J n ng 6 w nd 111cn•tr1 (HH\ n lyn H ll, Hans Meier r t::hr1 a ddJ mi o. f' to the active group of cavers in NorU1 e1J miurn More survey work in.Taroku has brought the efflu 1 h t n.111 and the inflow length to 211m. They are not hopeful n the two sections. Several trips to the Borvai nrnn find any caves or limestone but there are a coupl@ or p to be looked at. t:r:.l ' till __ Guinea Expedi tioo. David Grook si a PliD tuchrnt in t.extile physics, wi 11 be pr es en t ed with the Cut P f\ t;Ja d, at a reception organised by the Royal GGographical o h fn the speleological expedition which he led. to pum Naw n 1 975. The Award which ea rries with it an honor1:u:iLrn1 1;1fl Cl \!1 l l t'e presented by Sir Duncan Cumming, President of tho Ro 1 ica1society. The members of the expedition have Dn tu Mata the to the Ghar Parau Foundation which exist p future cavihg expeditions. The Nsw Guinea expedition is dBscribed by David of the University's Speleological Association for years, as1the most ambitious caving expedition t The five month expedition took two years to or n , n the 24 members of the team set off in July 197 , thy t them 14 tons of equipment. Reconnaissance growpo 1,000 square miles of limestone terrain varying lr1 dlt'l f'rc'm 2,000 t6 13,000ft between the Star Mountains and tho trl nd Gorge. Areas containing caves of world claes depth were located and a multitude of caves were sxplormd, urv1ying event u a 11 y con f i r m e d t ha t i n S e 1 mi nu m Tern t h e y ha cJ hun Ii l. rH I lJ !'HJ r) the longest and most impressive eave system in thL1 mJt,11 N1 Hemisphere. As a result of gaining this David Brook and throm members of the expedition have been asked to join tl'H1 no l Geographical Society's main expedition for 1977/70 whi h w 11 be a 1 S•month expedition to Borneo in which 40 leading Or!H, h and scientists will be taking part for perioda ranoing from a month to over a year. The location is to be tlrn rtl:ICG:nTtly gazetted Gunong Mulu National Park in Sarawak which con ine some of the most remarkable and diverse tropical rain fora t in existence. The task of the four cavers will be to explore me far as possible the river outlets from the 5,000 foot mountain of limestone where there are known to be four or five big river caves. The four wili be setting off in March 1978 and returning in the From/Reporter No 105 April 1977. / / 1 I ,. ) ( / (V"/ t J


Download Options


  • info Info

    There are only PDFs associated with this resource.

  • link PDF(s)

Cite this item close


Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.


Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.


Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.


Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.