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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149 Volume 7 Nuabers December 1982 I' Twice Yearly K8.0Q per volume Niugini Caver is. the publication of the Papua New Guinea Cave-Exploration Group, an informal association of persons engaged in speleolpgy in Papua New Guinea. Geoff. Francis, John Wyeth, Bernard Pawih,, .JohnWyeth,, .John Wyeth, ' P.O. Box 1824, Moresby. P.O. Box 5854, Boroko. P .. o. Box 102, Univers.i.ty. Ann Holdsworth • Post Courier. CONTENTS Telct'Ok: ta, •................................................................ 15 o Peak$ inPapua New Guinea: R .. M. Bouike •••.• ••........ .. 151 Access Problems at Kaimomo Cave, Eastern Highlands Province: R. Kerr ...... 15-3 Light, Sources for Cders in Papua New Guinea: R .. M. Bourke •.••.. ; •• ......•. 154 Maig Muir:ene, Prov.ince: A. Monserrat ....................... ""' ...... 160 The caving-sc.ene.: R. •. M.1 Bourke ., • • • .. • .. • ... • • • • • •••• • . • • • • • • . • • • . • .. • • ••. _. '. . . . . • . 16 2 FasaiVil C.We, Eatem Righlattds Prori.nce: R. Kerr ... : ............... '. ..•.. 164 of Nembi: R.M. Boul:ke et al. ••...••..•••........ 166 Syngenetic; Reef Limestone:' G. Francis ............... ••.•••.•••. 172. Spe:leopersoulity: Neil Hickson: R.M. Bourke ••.••• " .................. •..... 174 ' . :fvtlie'AteA"i8> Expedition descending. the Crucible,, Atea Kanand-a. \Pugsley) -


150 . BDJGIRI CAVER VOLUME. 7 NUMBER 5 . . . . . • c . -'to be produced by the l).ew team this is tb7 fi-rst ias-,oi! N1ug:i:n1 . aver. . ttia out the last mpmoth issue We would to therg contributions to the C'!ve. (Volume 7,. HOs .. 2-4: . ) and. for hu numerous o Malcolm will be going to .... • .. G. . .over the past seven years. H EZ:p:lorati.:on: roup . . . . . 8 will Mike atid .lean Rourke. , owever, . -Aus.tralia',at the end year, a . h . nd of 1976, so it is posnble Mike and Jean ."went once befo:. eof a few years • Mike wrote they will '!-fter and hopefully will continue his 60% of the material in thi.s an , . contributiom to NiuginiCaver in the future. .. • . . . . . s of Niugini Caver .will be .produced From now on 1t u hoped that two 1ss;el . 8 No . 1 mainly to a report on the each year. It is to o ume. . 1983. Unfortunately it has Muller '82 andto ::tt:K.s.oo per year, as productioI? c?sts been-necessary to increase • '1979 when the present subscr1pti.on . • 1on vi th everything else s1nce ' . b have::. ruen a . g . h. . . that Niucrin. i caver will once again e level was set., However, ope Iii, aPPearing:on a;• replar basi.s • . . p . d long with the later , . . . . . . . f Mike Rourke .and Malcolm oun ., a 1he uwu•ent o . . . . e unfortunate for the P.N.G.C.E..G. departure of Neil Rickson next a-r . b t bats or to collect water, an expatriate dominated . the systematic of the North Solomons groupare the pursuit. Benuttd Pawih and. a f:W loration at the moment. Furthermore, t>nly nationals wbo in cave in Pa ua New Guinea is now the amount.of. by cavers res1 It se.a!s inevitable, therefore, . , 1 h f . • t was 20 years ago ... 11,1& . d ess t an l. . • .• 11 depend maialy on overseas expe it ions spe:. -.,.-.legy in Papua. Gud. of this year, for some time to . .like• 1 82 Kai.Jen e e-r--eome. 151 NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 1 NUMBER 6 TBEHIGHEST MOUNTAIN PEAKS IN.PAPUA NEW GUINEA *R.M.Bourke Recently Carol Clayton, Neil Hickson and I climbed Mount Otto (3,546 metres) which is near Goroka. This is considered a high peak in the Eastern Highlands. Out of interest I made up a list of the highest peaks in Papua New Guinea from the 1:100,000 topographic maps. I was surprised to find that there are at -least 45 peaks higher than Mount Otto. In places, such as the magnificent limestone country of the Andabare River headwaters west of Kandep in Enga, the river valleys are almost as high as the summit of Mount Otto! The actual summit height does not indicate how high you have to climb. The climb for Mount Otto and Mount Michael is about the same as for the big peaks of Wilhelm and Gi luwe (1, 600 to I, 800 metres) . The climb up to some of the peaks in Papua is considerably higher! The list is presented in Table 1. For each peak I give the name, the province(s) in which it is located and (in brackets) the relevant 1:100,000 topographic sheet. "Unnamed peak" mans only that it is not named on the topographic map .. The symbol "c" before the altitude indicates that the altitude is approximate only because no spot height is given, and the height is taken from the highest contour line. The actual altitude may be up to 40 metres higher. There are at least 48 peaks of 3,500 metres or higher in P.N.G. However. in places, such as in the Sarawaket Ranges in Morobe Province, there are numerous unnamed peaks over 3,500 m in a limited area. These have -tot been included in the list of 48 peaks. Even a cut-off point of 4,000 m would not eliminate this problem. It is of interest to note that peaks of over 3,500 m occur in all mainland provinces except for Gulf Province. A number of the highest peaks and ranges are composed of limestone. These include Mount Saraw.aket and other peaks in the S.arawaket Range of the Huon Peninsula, the various peaks of the Star Mountains on the Indonesian border, the extemely dissected.Mount Kaijende in Enga and Mount W.amtakin between Telefomin and Oksapmin. Caving expeditions have visited all of these areas as follows: French to Mount Sarawaket in 1978; Australian (1965) and British (1975) to the Star Mountains; USA/Australian to Mount Kaijende in 1982; and British to Mount Wamtakin in 1975. Whilst the. results of trips to the very high altitude karst cannot be considered conclusive, they have been very disappointing in these high areas in all instances. The only significant result was that the French found a number of small caves at 3,700 -3,800 metres on Mount Sarawaket,which are amongst the highest in the world (Bourke, 1982 ) Caves aside, the high peaks are exhilarating places to explore and then is no shortage of them in Papua New Guinea. REFERENCE Bourke, R.M. ( 1982). The greatest caves of Papua New Guinea (December 1980) Niugini Caver 7 (2,3,4): 28-37 * P. 0. Box 384, Kainantu, E. H.P. , Papua New Guinea.


152 . NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 7 NUMBER 5 Tahle 1 The highest mountain peaks in Papua New Guinea Peak Summit altitude (m) i, Mt 'WiThel.m., Madang/Simbu/WHP {Bundi) 2 Mt Giluwe, SFIP/WHP (Mendi) g Mt Morobe (Kabwum) ' 4 . Mt (2) , WHP (KUbor) -(1)., sarawaket Ra, Morobe (Sarawaket) tL ': Mt Star Mountains, WSP (Yapsiei) 7. . ... \: M.t Bahg'eta 1 Morobe .(Kabwum) ' .Mt Victoria; Central/Orb (Kokoda) 9 Mt Albert Edward (East Dome) , Central (Albert Edward) 10 Mt Kubor (2), Simbu/WHP (Kubor) 11 Mt Iguntam (2)., Simbu/Madang (Minj) 12 Unnamed peak, Star Mountains, WSP (Yapsiei) 13 NM/J/14, Morobe (Kaiapit) 14 Mt Kegeraga (2) , WHP (Ialibu) 15 unnamed peak (2), Finisterre Ra .. , Madang (Saidor) 16 Mt Albert Edward (West Dome) , CP/OP (Albert Edward) 17 Huxley Peak, Central/Oro (Kokoda) 18 Mt Kusiwigas (Scorpion), Star Mountains, WSP (Yapsiei) 19 unnamed peak {2), s.w. of Teptep, Madang/Morobe (Gali) 2.0 Mt Kaijende, Enga {Porgera) 21 Mt Hagen (2), Enga/WHP (Hagen) 22 English Peaks, Oro (Wasa) 23 unnamed peak, Ross BlUff, Star Mountains, Western (Ok Tedi) 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 33 39 40 41 42 43 44 Mt Andamunk, Enga {Porgera) Yakopi Nalenk Mt (Burgers Mt) , East Sepik/Enga (Porgera) Mt Thynne, Central/Ore (Wasa) Mt Suckling, Oro (Dayman) Mt Kerigomna, Simbu (Goroka) unnamed peak, Goropu Mountains, Milne Bay/Oro (Safia} Mt Essie, Central (Yule) Mt Abilala, Madang (Said.or) Mt Michael, EHP (GOroka) unnamed peak, Sarawaket Ra., Morobe {Sarawa9et} Mt'Udon (2), Simbu/WHP (Minj) Unnamed hill (2) , Andabare River, Enga {Doma) NM/J/25, WHP {Kubor) Mt Karoma, SHP (Karoma) The Sugar loaf, Enga (Wapenamanda) Mt Strong, Central/Morobe (Biaru) Mt Wamtakin, WSP (Telefomin) Doma Peaks, SHP {Doma} Mt Dickson, Oro (Albert Edward) unnamed peak, Central Ra., East Sepik/Enga (Porgera) 4 509 4 367 4 121 4 104 4 071 4 015 c.4 OOO c.4 OOO 3 990 3 969 c.3 960 3 932 3 917 c.3 880 3 878 c.3 840 c.3 800 c.3 800 c.3 800 3 798 3 795 3 750 3 727 3 725 3 711 c.3 680 3 676 3 661 3 656 3 655 3 648 3 647 3 638 3 634 3 623 3 600 3 588 3 583 3 568 c.3 560 3 559 557 3 555 45 46 47 48 Mt Piora, EHP/Morobe (Okapa) Mt Sigul Mugal, WHP (Hagen) Mt Otto, EHP/Madang (Bundi) 3 546 Unnamed Peak (2), west of Kandep, Enga (Doma) 3 -522 (1,) Unnamed peak, west of Tambul, WHP (Wapenamanda) 3 517 There are numerous peaks over 3 500m nearby . Other . unnamed peaks on the 1:100 OOO sheets have the following. altitudes: 4 050, 4 035, 4 021, 4 003, 4 002, 3 801, 3 695, 3 690, 3 678, { unnamed ridges and peaks nearby are over 3 500 m. 3 559 m. 153 NJ:UGINI CAVER VOLuME 7 NUMBER 5 ACCESS PROBhEMS AT KA!MOMO CAVE, CHIMBU PROVINCE * R.Kerr Kaimomo cave is located near Kaimomo village in the Chuave District of the Chimbu Province. The cave was visited on 8/3/80by a party of 15 people, mostly novice cavers, from Goroka Teachers' College. Difficulties were experienced in. negotiating a reasonable entrance fee. Initially the Village spokesman refused to allow us access to the cave. Subsequently he relented but declared that the past system of paying only one man was unsatisfactory and therefore we would have to pay everyone in the village. We pointed out that this would result in an exorbitant charge and that no one would visit that cave because of the high costs involved. Fortunately two of our party spoke tok ples and were eventually able to negotiate an entrance fee of K2.00 per lecturer and KO.SO per student. The villagers calculated the total entrance fee for 6 lecturers and 8 students as K14.50. Although their mathematics were somewhat suspect we did not challenge this particular point as the error was in our favour. One of the arguments we used to obtain a reduced fee was that it-was unfair to introduce a new system of greatly increased charges without forewarning potential visitors.. However in response to this they suggested that the new charges would be gazetted bya public notice in the local paper. After a delay of an hour or so we entered the cave. It contains large sha::ts and "railway tunnel" passages which are most impressive. There are also a number of attractive rimstone pools. we spent about two hours in the cave but the party lacked the necessary SRT skills and equipment to enter the deeper passages. It wohld be a great pity if further visits to this system were discouraged by excessive entry fees. *Present address unknown EDITOR1S NOTE Exorbitant access charges are an all-too-common problem in some cave areas of Papua New Guinea. A few months ago Bernard Pawih and the writer encountered a similar situation at Jawarere caves in the Central Province. In such cases a decision must be made on whether the charges can be afforded. If a decision is made to pay the charges then it is probable that all future parties will have to pay on this scale. Rod Kerr was fortunate to have nationals from the Chuave District in his party, to negotiate a fee which was lower than the one that the locals originally proposed.


154 NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 7 NUMBER 5 LIGHT SOURCES FOR CAVERS IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA * R.M.Bourke That a cave explorer needs a reliable light source is so self-evident there is no need to elaborate on the point. In this article I want to put some thoughts on suitable light sources for Papua New r write this because it is often difficult for cavers in Papua New Guinea to obtain adequate information or advice on gear, including lights. Most articles on cave equipment and techniques are written by people tinker with them and who have great expertise in the field. This articL: is not. For equipment I want something simple and reliable that will not. tax my very limited ability to repair or modify it. However I have had different sorts of lights over the years and have some thoughts on their relative merits. An individual caver's requirements are going to vary depending on a number of factors, so r will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different light sources and systems and leave the reader to decide what is best for himself or berself. Factors that determine a caver's needs include his or her commitment to caving, the price he or she is prepared to pay for gear, the caver's location and the type of caving being done. Requirements Obviously will be different for an occasional or a regular caver and for '.veekend or expedition usage. In an appendix I have listed the addresses of seven companies which caving gear by mail order. In this article I will quote some prices fror caving Equipment in Sydney. This is to give an idea the order of magr of the price; it is not an advertisement for that The prices quoted are before postage is added. Postage is quite high in AustELECTRICAL SOURCES ':Ude alia. Electric lights are clean and generally continue to work when wet. They tend to be more difficult than carbide lights to repair if they down' . underground. Also they tend to stop suddenly without warning, can::,ide lights which tend to go slowly. A narrow beam that goes a long way very useful in certain situations such as a big chamber. However very bright electric lights should not be used in parties where some diffuse carbide lights as the carbide users will have their night vision impaired. Hand.held torches The advantage of a hand.held torch is that they are easy to and cheap .. to buy. For anything but the most casual caving, a handheld light is a hindrance and often dangerous. Most hand.held torches are comparatively fragile, difficult to repair whilst underground waterproof. When used for extended 'periods, the cost of batteries is high. A handheld torch does have its place for quick reconnaissance caving, but for anything else it is not useful. If a torch is used, a good quality waterproof modelshould be obtained. A cord that allows it to be slm:ig There is a small torch called a "Technal-te11 around your neck is useful. which takes two pencil cells. I am .told it is waterproof and robust nd'is a useful back up source of light. * P.O .. Box 384, Kainantu, E.H.P., Papua New Gui-nea 155 There are a number of conaercially available headlamps that operate off :several small dry' cell batteries. I have also seen home-made headlamps made up from. the of electric torches. 'the only ;adXfantaJJe headlamps the: hap.dheld torch is that they can be mourite _ 12 hours before a recharge_ is necessary. Thus . they are of no use. -for c.aving.. Acid Cari leak from the .lead acid batteries afld caUSe, A .MSA lead acid battery and head piece A$85 from-cavibq A ,rib.arger is. another. A$14.


156 NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 7 NUMBER S l 1 for short trips. . f r cavers who get out regu ar y They are a good light source lo h go caving less regularly or need a li0ht They are less useful for peop e w o source for expedition use. CARBIDE . . d . the traditional lights of Acetylene lamps powered by calcium carbi e b carbide f b.d is that it is cheap to uy. cavers. The advantage o car i e f) te with little maintenance lamps are reliable, very hardy (caver 1 opera unlike a lead acid and can be readily repaired if without hurting it. battery, you can neglect your carbide light or a ye 1 a messy residue whi The disadvantage of carbide lights are that they eave . . . bed easily :..n . Also they can be extinguis should be carried out of the cave. h ( 'rtually useless in wet Papua l' ht them cavers use mate es Vl. 1 , wet caves. To ig . . . h. h . located on the reflector (usua J .. y New Guinea caves) , a flint light w ic i) s th . mate's light (OK if you have 1 ks when not too wet , eir . t1 broken, but on y wor . . . . li hter (if you have a continen c a mate nearby} or a Petzl .g arbide can only bE purchased . } I Papua New Guinea ea cium c . style carbide n .. um from ICI in Lae. In pract:ce, in large quantities (100 kg minim ) . P a New Guinea as here have: 'd h t been a problem in apu . d obtaining carbi e as no . ditions who ha e importe been adequate supplies left over from various expe it from Australia or Europe. Carbide cap lamps b e mounted on a caver's helmet 1 are available which can . Small carbide amps Premier cap lamp costs A$30 from by a bracket or hand.held. The th to be helmet-mounted is alsc Th 11 size that allows em Equipment. eir sma b filled with carbide after about a disadvantage in that they have e rfef' . tly The small jets for the Th d use carbide e icien . . . d 3 hours of use. ey 0 . d ttention when they are being use gas are easily blocked and this nee s a b'd lamp as the weight pulls Cannot use a helmet-mounted car i e Personally I lasses and also gives me a headache. the front of the helmet over my g t d is lost on people who do So their major advantage of being helmet-moun eh a nick 3 cm deep at the h . ht h h d (You have to ave not have t e rig s ape ea • f.ddl and in neod of too much back of your skull} . I also them it y Howeve; many cavers use l' 'ted mechanical compe ence. attention for my imi . t ble for their needs. They are the cap lamps and find.them very a1an and New Zealand cavers. For popular with many English, USA, Aus ra i b'd lamp is a good light source. many situations in Papua New Guinea, a car i e Handheld carbide lamps (1 k without fuel) and are hand.held. These are larqer than the capllamp: they are more reliable, need less Their advantage over the cap amp is f 10 12 hours with careful use. d d fill can last or -attention undergroun a . d t use carbide less efficiently than Because of the larger Jet,. they ten ho dh ld they are of very limited value B cause they are an e ' . the smaller lamp. e k climbing or river work is G a caves where rope wor , in most Papua New uine . . . h .. d . h rizontal caves of Queensland many necessary. We used them in t e for Papua New Guinea conditions. years ago, but I could not_recommen Continental carbide unit 't which is worn on.the belt, a g::i.s jet These consist of a gas generating uni t' plastic hose pipe. This syster: on the front of the helmet and a connec ing 157 NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 7 NUMBER 5 combines the advantages of both the small and large Because of their size they are reliabl,e, can run for many hours without recharging and need very little attentionwhen in use. Because it is belt/helmet mounted, the light source leaves the caver's hands free for haJ)ging on: Their only .disadvantage is that most carbide of this type do n-0t use reflectors. Thus a larger flame is needed for adequate light and the carbide .is used more quickly. They are rarely used by English speaking cavers but are used by cavers all over western Europe. (This is the region of the world where most of the world• s cave explorers live) .. I have used one sice I was given one in Spain in 1977. I would take a lot of convincing to use any other light source now. The Petzl piezo-electric lighter is attached to the helmet unit that contains the gas jet. This lighter can be used, when it is completely wet and with one hand. A knob is turned that operates a small hannner. This strikes a Piece of metal, sends an electric charge across the gap and lights the gas. This lighter is so superior to.matches, flint lights, or your mate's light, that there is no comparison. OTHER ENERGY SOURCES Candles These are commonly recommended as back up light sources, although I have never seen anyone actually using one underground. They were used by cavers last century. As far as I am concerned, that is where they belong. They perhaps have a use for' ur1derground camps. As a back up light source they can only be considered if you go caving in a bowler hat. (Can you imagine crawling, climbing, swimming, and prussiking in a .typical Papua New Guinea cave with a candle in one hand and matches in the other? I cannot) . Chemical lights This is a i;nodern invention. The light consists of a slim cylinder s::>me 15 cm long and 2 cm in diameter. The light is activated by bending +:nit cylinder. Once activated they give off a weak light for 12 hours or more. They are strictly for emergency use. They could be useful in emergency situations, especially if you were trapped for more than 12 hours by an underground flood. Personally I do not bother with them as they are expensive and represent another item to carry underground. they Certainly have a place, especially on long trips into big river caves. A LIGHT SYSTEM So far I have considered individual light sources, but a caver generally need:: a back up light source. The conventional recommendation is that cavers carr underground th:tee independant light sources (see for example the note "Saifety Hint" in Niugini Caver Vol. 7, No, 2,3,4, page 148. This was lifted from.the NSSJournal (USA)). I.think this is a recommendation that if any, cavers follow. It'seems to me that the requirements for a system will vary greatly depending on the individual caver and the circumstances. at the time. {Whilst underground on your own in a remote river cave you obviously need a more failproof light system than when on a family outing to a small cave). In general terms the options for a system for the individual caver seem to be as foll'ows:


158 NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 7 NUMBER 5 1 A single reliable light source This could be a good electric or carbide light, depending on the cave and the caver. For a caver in a party in a small cave, there is often no need for more than a single light source, provided it is a reliable one. 2 Main light source with a reliable back up A main light source (electric or carbide) backed up by a small carbide lamp or a good handheld torch is often adequate for many caves. This applies for situations where a party would be underground for a few hours only in an undemanding cave. 3 Two main light sources For larqer and more difficult caves, many cavers rely on two main light sources. For example, in New Ireland in 1975, we rigged an electric light operated off drycells and a cap carbide lamp to our helmets. In my experience, cavers tend to become lazy with such systems and revert to a single main light source, with their second one left in camp or at the botV)m of the pack. My feeling is that if you cannot get light from a secondary source within seconds of needing it, it is not a real back up source. For serious caving, every caver must have two main light sources, of are highly reliable and accessible. 4 One main and two back up This is the conventional recommendation. For example, the author of "Safety Hint" in the last Niugini Caver suggested a main carbide light, a reliable torch and a candle or a chemical light. I think the "three ligh sources" mentality can give false security. A small handheld torch, candle or chemical light is not as good as a reliable carbide or electric light. As such it is useless in real emergency situations, especially if you are '.Jn Your own. (Consider the following: You have been delayed underground by a minor accident and you are going out of the cave. at night on your own for >1elp. Your main electric light fails. Would you be happy to continue with your Burns Philp special Kl.25 "nambawan sutlarnp" with its 2 pencil cells?). 5 Petzl combination system This consists of the continental carbide generator, a small battery pack mounted on the back of your helmet, and an electric light gas jet and lighter mounted on the fr-0nt of the helmet. For me this is by far the best lighting systelll'.'2 for a caver. It combines the following advantages: A main carbide system that is extremely reliable; a back up electrical system that is fairly reliable and which works when completely wet; two systems are easily accessible on the helmet with one hand; an electric beam that can be used when a narrow far reaching' light beam is required. With the Petzl unit, it is possible to convert from one reliable light source to the other within seconds, without. removing packs or even needing the use of both hands • This system combines the advantages of having helmet mounted lights without the disadvantage of a great weight on your helmet, or a helmet that wants to slide down on to your face. A disadvantage is that the flat 4.5 volt batteries cannot be purchased in Ppaua New Guinea. Thus it is necessary to get them overseas or to join up four AA size drycells. The electrical unit has a life of several years only before it needs replacing. 159 NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 7 NUMBER 5 I consider th. t be . . is o the best light system for an y0 ne h . . w o is serious about caving in Papua New Guinea It 11 use Wh . . • 18 equa Y suitable for weekend or expedition • en caving in a small party or on m d f third i ht . . . . . Y own in 1 ficult caves I use a the Peti.g . But for most situations, I see no need to go the P combination system. Dave Pease and Malcolm Pound recently bought . e z system. The headlamp and gas generator cost about . .a mail was half as much again. an air-DISCUSSION It is not possible to recommend a singl. e light source or system for "'Very caver as individual needs and the much. Over the past 16 years I of different caves vary so d. . . . ' have rie all of the light sources in this article {except candles!). The options for serious avers in Pppua New Guinea conditions are a miner's headlamp d b dry battery or a miner's light battery, a carbide cap a continental carbide system. L a!so for a caver to consider a complete lighting system for c . nee s. I think the old "three light source" idea can lead to dangerouc: Most cavers seem to revert to a single carbide or electric -G:rource. there is a single lighting system for all caving in Papua uinea, then it has to be the Petzl combination system. Acknowledgement Neil Hickson and Malcolm p d 'd d dr. oun provi e some helpful comments on a f irsr aft of this article. Appendix Addresses of some caving equipment stores Bob and Bob, P 0 Box 441, Lewisburg, W Va 24901, USA Caving Equipment, P O Box 239, Milsons Point NSW 2061, Australia (Phone (302) 0432) Caving Supplies, 19 London Road, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 9IA, England (Phone 02981 5040) Inglesport, The Square, Ingleton, via Carnforth, LA6 3EB, England (Phone 0468 41146) Petzl, Zi Crolles, 38190 Brignoud, France Speleoshoppe, PO Box 297, Fairdale, KY 40118, USA (Phone (502) 367 62 92 ) Techniques Sportives Appliquees, Choranche, 38680 Pont-en-Royans, Fr."tnce * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 7 NUMBER 5 160 MAIG MUR CAVE, CHIMBU PROVINCE * A. Monserrat Maig Mur cave (also known as Mebile cave) is situated on the south-eastern slope of a peak near Kege Mount, a1:>out one hour's walk frbm Duglpegl. This cave was originally explored by Australian speleologistc who estimated its depth at 160 m after failing to reach the bottom (Brown, 1973; sanders, 1973). on 27/7/78 members of the Spanish Speleological Expedition to Papua New GuineareaChed the bottom of this cave at a surveyed depth of -131 m (Figure 1). The cave starts with a pitch of 51 m which leads to a steep mud slope wit•, vegetal debris. At the base of this slope is a second pitch of 30 m, Which is most easily rigged from a 2 m window above the pitch rather than from the mud slope. At the bottom of the latter pitch is a shorter mud slope which leads to a mud-floored chamber about 20 m in length. In the far end of the chamber is a third pitch of 50 m, which terminates in a mud choke at -l3lm. The cave appears to be fault controlled though its morphology has been greatly influenced by solution, particularly in the lower passages. At present there is active vadose solution caused by abundant infiltrating water. References Brown, L (1973) Mebile cave. Down Under 12: 22-24• Niugini caver l: S0-52. sanders, B (1973) Mebile cave, ChimbU District. * Equip de Recerques Espeleologiques del Centre Excursionista de Catalunya, Spain. 16-1 i --i --.. r • • L I; . -• ' •. ......... ..,;::&.ilC-.. v w • ' .• I f . Q . -eo m Fignre' 1 t


:; ' 162 NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 7 NUMBER 5 THE CAVING SCENE complied by R. M. Bourke This scene .. covers" the six month: period April to September, 1982 Figures quoted are not authoritative, but are.based mainly on telephone conversations with various cavers •. East New Britain * In August a group of Belgian cavers turned up in Port Moresby unannouriced and declared they were heading for Pomio. more has been heard from them, except the Belgian Caving Federation the PNGCEG if we. know anything about the group! (On average Ponuo receives 2 500 mm of ra1:i:fall in July and August alone, as these are the wettest months. By Goroka receives 1 900 mm in a year and Port Moresby gets 1 OOO mm in a year. Let 1 s hope the Belgians were not heading for the river caves!) Eastern Highlands Michael Bourke has visited the Barananomba river cave near Yonki on a number th Shannon from A.u•stralia, Frank Caines and Paul of occasions wi Henry Sinclair of. Aiyura. Mt. Kaijende over a two month period from June to August about 25 people participated in an expedition to the very rugged Mt. Kaijende karst in Enga. The bulk of the cavers came from the u.s.A .. with others from Switzerland, England Australia. The. expedition was led by Neil Montgomery, Donna and Neil Ryan. The first six weeks of the expe(lition were spent in the forest area on the mountain where the rugged karst is located. No caves of any significance were found. Towards the end of the expedition activity was concentrated in a area to the southeast of the mountain at a lower altitude. Here seve:: al caves were found. one was several kilometres long (s km?) and approximately 150 metres deep. Plenty of leads were left unexplored. An unlucky accident occured when one of the U.S. cavers on the expedition fell into a pothole and broke his leg. A return trip is planned for 1984. Muller 82 The fourth expedition t!o the Muller Range took place JW:e to A':1gust. Again Julia James of Syarley led the expedition Neil Hickson in Mount Hagen acted as the P.N.G. organizer. The expedition had of 57 . cavers ( ! ) in the . field within the two month period. The cavers were mainly Austtruians"with others from the U.K., New Zealand, Canada, P.N.G. and Hong Kong. Initial exploration was in the Atea Gana, Hegaibagu and the high altitude Legari areas. A further 2 or 3 km was explored inAteaKananda,but results were generally disappointing. Activity was then on the Mamo a:rea. Mamo Kananda {previously known as Hadia.Yaneabogairi) came up to the expectations of the 1978 expedition. It was pushed to a length of abo':1t 52 km and a depth of S20 m.. This is now, the longest and deepest in . Papua New Guinea •. It is also the longest cave in :=11e.southern He1Ilisphere and the 12th in. the world. Unfortunately it was deep :nough to regain the Southexn.Hemispheredepth.record for Papua New Guinea which has 163 NIUGINI CAVER COLUME 7 NUMBER 5 been taken by Nettlebed in New Zealand. Reports coming out towards the end of the expedition suggested that the final length would exceed Atea Kananda (now c.33 km), but would not get much over 40 However in the last week of the trip, a breakthrough was achieved to another cave which added about 8 km more to .the length. Numerous ieads remained unexplored at the time that the expedition pulled out. As in 1978, the cave also provided some anxious moments when three cavers were trapped underground by a flooding stream for 48 hours longer than they had planned. The group got out safely after the river went down. North Solomons The level of activity on Bougainville remains high under the leadership of Hans Meier. The latest batch of the North Solomons Cave Exploration Group Newsletter indicates more activity for the latter half of 1981 which was not reported in the previous "Caving Scene". Two trips went to Arakawau and another two trips to Kovana cave in the Rotokas District. Bill took a group to Buka Island where a cave was surveyed near Ketskets village. This year (1982) seems to have been an especially active one in the North Solomons: Dr. Heinz Stephen from Frankfurt, Germany and Dr. John Nelson (Monash University, Melbourne) visited Bougainville in January to collect bats. Three caving areas were visited to collect cave dwelling species. The February trip went to Nenduma cave at Borumai as some of the cavers had not been there before. The Bari area was visited in March; but no limestone or caves were found. In April the group went to PunwJ, Efflux in an attempt to get through the rockpile. This was not possible. A survey of Kuiripi cave above Atamo was started in May. The passage was followed for about 500 metres. The two stnnps in the Upper River Passage of Toroku Efflux were also checked in May. A little extra distance was added. The total surveyed length of Toroku Efflux is now 1 982 m. In June the Pauraka Efflux was surveyed during a three day trip. It is a somewhat complicated system with about 4 levels stacked on top of each other. A novel way was found to represent this in the survey. Hans Meier taped '" transparent overlays of the two top sections of the cave over the basic cave plan. The August trip went to the Punua Efflux cave with 6 cavers. The trip was a surface one which aimed to l.ocate the shafts in the big chamber of Punua Efflux. . This was not possible, but Hans thinks he has now located the shafts on the aerial photographs. The volume of the gigantic cave Benua on the Keriaka Plateau has been recalculated by Hans Meier using his survey data. The cave has a volume of 5 OOO OOO cubic metres. Calculations previously made from Fred Parker's estimated figures gave an estimated volume of 3 500 OOO cubic metres. With a volume of 5 million cubic metres, Benua is the largest cave chamber in the world! And that's the caving scene. We've seen two major expeditions of mostly Australian and U.S.A. cavers; new Papua New Guinea length and depth records; a cave explored that is one of the longest in the world; a survey of an enormous chamber on Bougainville that shows it has the largest volume of any chamber in the world; and steady activity by the local cavers in the North Solomons. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


164 NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 7 NUMBER 5 FASAIVIL CAVE, EASTERN HIGHLANDS PROVINCE * R.Kerr This cave is located near Kemasi village in the Lufa region of the Eastern Highlands Province. It was visited on 5/4/80 by the writer, Mike Bourke and Malcolm Pound. Malcolm remained at the top of the first pitch to look after surplus gear. The first pitch is 31 m a iedge 4 m below the top (Figure 1). It is essentially a solution tube with a rock partition dividing the lowermost 4 m. At the base of this pitch is a short passage floored with rockfall which contains a few bones. (possibly human). From the right hand side of this passage a second pitch (14 m) leads off. A short narrow passage leads from the base of this pitch to the top of the third pitch, which descends for about 17 m. At the base of the latter pitch a small trickle of water enters the cave and flows down a sloping passage which is floored by rockfall and Which leads to a 4.5 m drop which can be downclimbed. From here onwards the cave becomes particularly muddy. At the base of the climb is a sloping passage which narrows down to a width of 0.3 m. About 15 m along this passage our progress was halted by an abrupt dog-leg. This obstacle might possibly be passed by a very small caver, but it is probable that the cave terminates in a sump or boulder choke at no great distance beyond the dog-leg. However the local people told us about a rising farther down the blind gully in which the cave is situated and it is likely that the cave stream emerges at this point. Acknowledgements We wish to acknowledge the assistance and cooperation given by Wanume (committee man) and Simon Yanoda during our visit. * Present address unknown. EDITOR'S NOTE Lufa is located only about 25 km southeast of Chuave. This article and the previous one by Rod Kerr on Kaimomo cave show clearly how the attitude of the local people to cavers can vary markedly over comparatively short distances. 165 NIUGINI CAVE.I. . VOLD.ME7 Nl1HUR S FASAfVlL c,AVE KEMASf VILLAGE A e . L ....... i'lrl. !0.7m_ piie.h ""Porfaf ton• / 11. s piidi +rack1' • Cl"te ? PLAN ' 11': r:ff I 1'11J 'if) . ! .] I '' L4oM. ,_..Muddy . ...____. Two .mud c.ovcrcd .+c,L--i-hs "Sht WQU. ... it,h DEVn.OPED. LON c; fTIJ OINAL SCT\C11\1 Figure 1 I l f I


166 NIUGTNI CAVER VOLUME 7 NUMBER. 5 PRELIMINARY NOTES ON SOME CAVES OF THE NEMBI PLATEAU, SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS * ** . . . . . ** R .. ,. J •. F.Pernette and J.P .. Sounier The Nembi Plateau is a limestone plateau 20 km Mendi in the . Southern Highlands It is bounded on by the Nembi River and on the southwest by the Wage River, both of whl;ch flow to.the southeast. Geologically it 'is composed of sedimentary rocks of Oligocene to Miocene age. These are mainly limestones with some muds tones All drainage is dolines or stream sinks. The consists of limestone ridges and pinnacles, blind valleys and The karst landscape gives the plateau a characteristic beauty. on the plateau varies from 1 650 m to 2300 m a.s.l: Depth for caves on the plateau to the likely resurgences in the nearby river valleys is of the orde.r of 400 m. A more-or-less all weather four wheel drive road from Mendi to Nipa the. plateau.. There is a dense population,land shortage and people on the plateau ... Bourke has beex:i as J?art of an ongoing farming systems research programme mid 19?8. During that time he has been able to do a little caving, particularly in September 1978 when two weeks were spent .. in Upa village. In May 1980 French cav:rs. accompanied him to the Plateau following tl:le French expedition to New Britain. On this trip Francois Pernette and Jean Paul Sounier explored Orabel and Pemnekpus caves. Notes on caves visited by us. or mentioned by.local people thi' s arti' cle All names used for caves are localized area are given in • names rather than specific cave names. SCARP OF THE PLATEAU "Efflux cave". This is just adjacent to the Plateau vehicular road, next to a very sharp corner 1 km or so from where the plateau road leaves the Nembi Valley. The entrance is at 1 550 m a.s .. l. A small stream emerges'" from an entrance 2 m wide and 1 m high.. Normally stream follows a surface watercourse. It has a flow of about 40 sec On the lOth March 1979, the stream flow was high and it was flowing down the road, _turning road into a minor river. The cave has not been. explored beyond the day.:...ight zone. UPA VILLAGE Emja stream.. This emerges from under a rock at a place called Sala near Upa vil:lage.. The stream sinks in a small cave 500 m from the resurgence rt-flows at about 1 m3sec-l. 01ne.. At the northern end of the land of the Puit clan, there is a high limestone ridge.. A small cave 60 m long goes through this ridge at Ome which is l ,500 m northwest of the Upa Catholic Church building. EMBT VILLAGE walewabnea 1 .. The entrance is The entrance -is two This small cave is 100 m or so east of Embi village .•... on the side of a limestone tower just above a small .dol1r:':: 2 m high and S m wide. The cave is about 80 m long and -:-1as There are._.pgssums inside. ' ' ' * P.o..:Bbx. g4,. Kainantu, E.H .. P., Papua New Guinea ** Chateau .Pa$.qet, .. 3:37PO.::.Escaussans ,, France .. 167 NIUGINI CA VER VOLUME 7 NUMBER 5 Walewabnea 2. This cave is in the same pinnacle as Walewabnea 1, but on the opposite side of it. A rather hairy track over the top of the pinnacle leads to the entrance which is 25 m abov.e an adjacent doline. The cave consists of a single passage 30 m long. It has been used for burials in the past. There are human bones inside, but they are now burnt by village children and are held in no respect. There are some recent drawings near the entrance. People hunt swiftlets and "karpul" inside. It was used as. a refuge from tax collectors and during times of tribal fighting in the past. Walip 1. This is a small rockshelter some 4 m high and 5 m wide at the entrance and 8 m deep. It is situated in a cliff face on the southwest side of a doline a few hundred metres southeast of Embi village. There are three crescent shaped drawings near the entrance which are said to represent kina shells. The outline of these has been done in black charcoal. In two of the crescents, the centre has been painted with red stone paint, and in the third, .orange paint made from burnt clay has been used. Some pig vertebrae have been strung on a'cane in the cave, and there is a human skull and a collection of bones in a niche in the roof. The shelter is used by big men for killing pigs and other traditional male activities. Walip. 2. At the bottom of a doline r.ear Walip 1, there are a number of holes. As with all dolines near' the hamlets, the doline is used for food gardens. The holes are mostly blocked by topsoil, sword grass roots and stones, but it is possible to get down one of them. A somewhat tight fissure leads to a horizontal passage some 20m long. The cave is very muddy and would fill with water at times. The main thing, this grotty hole shows is that it is probably not worth looking for caves at. the .bottom of dolines in which there are gardens because silt and garden rubbish will invariably block up these systems. Poinjela. There is a 7 m deep shaft in a doline just to the left of the Embi-Angumi track. The shaft leads to a moderate sized cave and it is possible todescend it via a difficult climb. At the bottom of the shaft, the passage leads off in two directions. One passage is basically horizontal and the other descends steadily. All leads were examined except for one drop which I left as I was on my own (Michael Bourke). This drop is unlikely to go far. The cave is about 150 m long and 25-30 m deep. Orabel (see map of cave). This shaft is located the left of the Embi-Angumi track a few hundred metres from Poinjela. The shaft is some 3 m wide, 8 m long and 8 m deep. It was _explored on the 8th May 19$0 by Jean Francois Pernette and Jean Paul Saunier. At the base of the 8 m entrance pitch, passages lead off in two directions. The one going uphill is about 5 m wide and 80 m long. It leads to a small Chamber. The passage going downhill is about 2 m wide and 25 m long. This intersects a chamber at right angles6 This chamber follows a bedding plane 2 m wide and at about an angle of 40 to the horizontal. It can be followed about 80 m in one direction and.60 m in the other. are a series of shafts 5-6 m deep on the lower side of the bedding plane .. ;. Total cave development would be about 250 m. Pemnekpus (see map). This shaft is located in a doline near Pem hamlet. It is some 4 m by 6 m in cross section at the top. Pemnekpus means "the




170 ..NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 7 NUMBER 5 hole at Pem". The entrance pitch is 30 m deep and leads to a sloping rubble slope. This is followed by a 24 m pitch. At the base of the pitch the passage leads off in two directions. One terminates after 20 m or so. The other leads to a large chamber with a stream entering at the far end. The stream goes into a pool and thence a sump. The depth from the top of the entrance pitch (excluding the depth of the doline) is about 75 m. AlakoBa. This shaft is adjacent to a track between Pem and Embi. It is possi le to climb down into a small cave for 8 m. A 12 m shaft continues beyond this point. Daylight penetrates the cave in several places. There is another entrance to the cave at the bottom of a nearby doline. A shaft, some 8 m deep, leads from this entrance. This entrance is some 15 m lower than the top entrance. Iswanda. Villagers reported a horizontal cave at Iswanda with bats in The entrance is near the bottom of a doline. Hol. There is an unexplored shaft in a do line j_ust north of the governmE '1t station at Hol. DISCUSSION Brief examination near Upa and Embi villages on the Nembi Plateau has shown that caves are present. The caves are, or been until very recently, important to the local villagers as places of refuge and for traditional purposes. Several moderate sized caves have been found to date. The potential for deep systems is there. For cavers who are based near the Plateau, further exploration is justified. ACKNOWLEDGEMEN"l'S Thanks are due to Dave Pease who redrew the two cave maps. Swadling, P., 1981 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * REVIEW Papua New Guinea's Prehistory: an Introduction. National Museum and Gordon & Gotch, Port Moresby 69p. K3.70. This book is based on material compiled for the prehistory exhibits in the National Museum an(f aj;t Gallery. It is superbly illustrated with more than 140 full colour and.sepia plates. Two major chapters deal with "Early Settlers and Our Chahging Land" and "How Our Diet has Changed over Time". There are shorter chapters.on "Mortars and Pestles", "The Conquest of the Pacific" and "Dating the Past". In an epilogue :Kevin Kaidoga and Swadling discuss the problems involved in retaining: the cultural heritage of Papua New Guinea and outline the government policies and regulations designed to achieve this objective. The chapter on early settlers and the changing land describes the impact of changes in the physical environment on human migration and settlement. Research by workers such as J.M.Powell and G.D.Hope indicates that during glacial periods alpine grasslands descended to elevations 2 000-2 soo.m. Limited evidence for humanoccupation of the highlands reviewed by Swadling suggests that before 10 OOO B.P. the highlands were dominated by a hunting and gathering economy.which was dependent on these grasslands and the large 1'71 _NIUGINI "CAVER VOLUME 7 NUMBER: S macropods which became extinct at about 10 OOO .. P. However are serious problems in explaining the climatic changes, since Loffler has shown that palynological evidence for lowering of the treeline in glacial periods is difficult to reconcile with present knowledge of tropical glacial climates. Eustatic changes iil':sea level associated with climatic changes also in,fiuenced migration and settlement. When the sea rose to its present level at about 6 COO B.P., the lantl. bridge betWeen Western Papua and Northern Australia was flooded, forming Torres Strait. The sea level changes reconstructed by Chappell and Thom indicate that from about 120 OOO B.P. to 6 OOO B.P., sea levels were lower than the present one. Swadling points out that it is only on land areas which have been 'Uplifted, such as the Huon Peninsula, that coastal settlements older than 6 OOO years are likely to be found. She mentions the recent discovery of .waisted axes by U,.P.N.G. workers on the 80 m terrace at Fortification Point, Huon Peninsula. Unfortunately actively rising marine terraces provide a favourable environment for erosion of surficiaf deposits, with consequent reworking of implements and other cultural materials. Attempts to trace the implements back to their original resting places have so far been unsuccessfu;I.. Possibly a search for rock shelters 'C where conditions are more favourable for the preservation.of cultural materials might be more productive. Papua New GW:-nea•s>Prehistory is of particular interest to speleologists in that some of the most prehistoric sites are shallow caves or rock shelters. It contains brief descriptions of and colour plates illustrating the sediments in the Kafiavana (Eastern Highlands) , Omkombogo {Simbu) , Yuku (Western.Highlands) and Misilil (West New Britain) rook shelters. Speleologists su<;h as Wilde and Gillieson have been active in the recorcti,ng of prehistoric rock art in shelters and in the study of shelter sediments containing cultural materials. In the epilogue Kai.doga and Swadling make a plea for assistance in the recording of archaeological sites. Many such sites are threatened by erosion or by.road and building construction. It is imperative that the existence and location of these sites should be reported to the National MusellI!l and Art Gallery. It is also very desirable that all prehistoric sites discovered by speleologists in their exploration activities should be reported to the Museum and that any disturbance of these sites should be avoided. * Geoff Francis * Geological Survey of Papua New Guinea, P.O. Box 778, Port Moresby


172 _NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 1 NUMBER. 5 SYNGENETIC SOLUTION IN.REEF LIMESTONE: .. from -off shore "petroleum . elt.p1or at ion. G. Francis* Over the p&St 15 years a number of prospecting oil wells have becan drilled in pinnacle reefs with-in offShore regions in Asia. The data obtained on formation fluidsinclude some surprising discoveries which have important implications for early stage speleogenesis. The Borabi 1 well in th'e Gulf of Papua penetrated a pinnacle reef which contained formation water with salinities generally ranging from 4,000 to 6,000 p.p.m. of chloride, (McDonagh and Knuth, 1968) .. This was a surprising result since connate waters entrapped in mari:ne sediments usually have salinities in excess of 25,000 p.p.m.,siailar to that of $ea water. Micropalaeontological workl>y Lloyd _(1968) proposed an interval of uplift and erosion-in Middle to Late Miocene times and explained therelatively low salinities of the foramtion waters in terms of flushing by fresh meteoric waters during this interval. However, more recent work by Taylor (1976) suggests that there is no hiatus in the Borabi well sequence and this casts doubt on the above explanatien for low formation water salinities. Furthe-naere:; fermation waters with salinities of 1,000 to 4,000 p.p.m. were encountered in wells drilled within the L-structure reefs of the Natuna, D-alpha block. about 400 kilometres narthwest of the Sarawak coast (Eyles, personal. c0Slllm1li.caticm). In this case the law salinities cannot be explained in teYJU of flushing by meteoric waters since the geolog-icd .. evidence presented '&y Eyles and May ( 1982)-.-indicates that reef grrtect, however, thell mixing of saline connate water and fresh diagenetic water is going on a-t depths of more than 3,000 metres below sea level ia. piunaele reefs which are buried -beneath 2 ,900 tue'tres of younger .elastic sediments. Mixing of. meteoric fresh water and saline water in raised reefs on is lands of Papua Nev Guinea has l>een postulated as a mechanism for the development efphreatic caves (Ollier, 1.975; Francis, 1977) but such a process * Geological Survey e"f Pap'Ua New G\,linea, Box 778, Port Moresby. 173 NIUGINI CAYER 7 Ntl!eERS only depths of a few metres to a few tens of metres below the water However, tRfxing of f:resh diagenetic watel:' and a.a.line waterat greater'depths 1•ight produce sinailar types of c.-ves. lt is difficult to establish for' the recognition 0 or;iginating well below sea level in deeply buried pinnacle reefs .. Since it requires a naajor tectonic event to rahe such caves to sea leve 1 where. they becoqae accessible by speleologists, evidence for tectonic activit: post dating cave development would be a necessary but not a $ufficient condition to establish a deep marineorigin for .the caves. Nevertpeless the caves might not survive this and •ight persbt only as palaeokarst collapse features. REFERENCES Eyles, D •. R. and May, J 0982) Exploration of the L-strueture Natuna D-alpha Block, offshore Indonesia. Unpublished paper CCOP/ASCOPE workshop 011r Carbonate Reservoirs. Surabaya, Indonesia. Franci•, G 0977) Caves in the Quaternary Raised Reefs of Eastern Manus, P.N.c. of the llth Biennial Conference of the Speleological Federation, Canbert"a (1976). --pl46 ... p157. Llayd, A.R. (1968) Micropalaeontology. 1 in Mcl>onagh and Knuth (1968 McDonagb, G.P. and Knuth, B.W •. (1968) Borabi No. 1 Well Completicm Report. Unpublished, Phillips Australian Oil. Ollie:', C.D. 0975) Coral Island Geomo-.:phology. z. Oeom<>rph. ,!!: 164 190. _Taylor, D.J. (1976) Tertiary of the Papuan Basin. Unpublished Palaeont. Report, 1976/8; Esso, P.N.G.


mu::att.t .CAV'.R.co1Df. 1 .!1tl!BBR.s .. -.SPEL1ro -,m:.n. Neil. :wi1?b tile hoy: scouts in 19 vliile !ftill a schoOl student in his native. 1lew South. wates.. Later he joined the Sydney . Speleolo9ical . Soci:eyandcontinuedwcaveat;BUnqonia, Wombeyan and.Jenolan. J\t Christmas Tasmania where JChazaDhum and joined an expedition to the CrCtcroft River.. He continued cavin9 in N. s,. w. in 1975:and 1976. His first trip to Papua Bew' Guinea was. in June 1976 when he too)t part in the expedition to.tbe Mull:er Range. of that year.. During Christmas of Neil went to Ne1if .wi:tft other N .• .$.W .. cavers. for carin9 on Mount Arthur and Momit OWen... f The party ex.Plored two caves On Mount OWen that were 'more than 200 m deep. '"Apart from citvinq, that year was spent working on the railways •. Tu early "77 he went to S:ydney University to study for an economl.cs degree with a major in acoountinq. The overseas expeditions continued.. With two other Aussie cavers., be did some cavinq in the U .. S.A. and joined a U.S. trip to Mexico in December ; T.hehigh1ight of the expedition was that Sotano de Agua le Carriza waa pasaeo to . a depth of almost aoo m. The next year. saw :a D!t'.nrn to Paptia' New Guinea for five ;weeks with the. 1978 Muller Range exped'.ition. 'He spent most of his time in 'the Muller doing the initial ezp!l:oration of f4amo, Kananda... The year finished with a trekking trip to Nepal.. In 1979 Nei:l spent the Christmas period caving in the U.K. and ski touring in France. In, he spent three months on a caving trip to Mexico where he got: down to minus l OOO metre.s for the first time in the Li Ni ta system.. 'J!he main exploration of the trip was in Nita Nanta which was pushed for 440 :at to a depth of 950 m. his working life as an accountant in Sydney in early he'. transferred tQ: Mount Hagen in June • 8.1. Since he had been back in New GUinea, be has btved in the Kainantu area, the laro River cave in the Southern Bigblandsr the cibmweil Mountains., and in Irukunguai in Siml;)u. He wasthe;PaP"oa HewGUnea organiser for the 1982 expedition t:othe MullerRange and spen:f"tfhree weeks.on tbe expedition itself. He was:based the lo1amo "'"' camp and was As well as the caving, he has managed to do a n1,'mlber;-df walks with friend Carol Clayton. To _:say .Jfe:tl is a bard caver and has pacJ{ed a lot of action so far in to his 24 years, is to state the Obviaas.! He bemoans the fact that accounting keeps .him tied to a desk and> be rarel. y qets out of Mount Ha9en for work. However,. 'in 1.ess ,t:.Baa: blo years.'of residence in Papaa New Guinea he has managed to see more wild places than .. most other people. Between caving and walking trips, he spends '.his tlln.e pc:>ring over maps looking, for interesting places, a.Itd is known to be gnod wine and food! Nei.l plans stay in Papua New Guinea till the end of 1983-. He plans more caving and peak; and Some ambitious walkin


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