2016 Expedition

Tu Lan Cave System

Location

Outside the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park 60km North East of Phong Nha village in the Minh Hoa district is a small section of limestone which is fed by the Nan river coming from 2 sources Hang Ruc Mon and water flowing west after the Da Deo pass.

The Nan River sinks near the village of Tan Hoa and the main resurgence emerges over 6km away in Cao Quang district.

 

History

The first recorded visit by cavers was in March 1992 when Hang Chuot was explored near the village of Tan Hoa. Other caves were noted but at this time this area was difficult to access.

In 1994 the resurgence area was visited and the spectacular Hang Tien was discovered and explored after a 3 day journey in those days from Phong Nha.

In 2010 the first main exploration into the major river caves of the Tu Lan system Hang Ken and Hang Tu Lan.

In 2011 further caves were explored such as Hang Kim, Hang Hung Ton and Song Oxalis

In 2012 Gibbon Cave and Secret cave were explored.

In 2015 Monster Cave, Tien 2, Hang Uy, Hang Doi were found

In 2016 Hang Rua, Dinh 1 and 2, Hang Da Ne, Hang Ruc and 300m dry as well as major extensions in Hang Tien 2.

 

Cave System description

As the Nan River passes Tan Hoa village it can be followed to the first river sink with no cave passage accessible. The water appears in nearby Hang Song Oxalis, which resurges into Hung Ton.

This river can be followed across Hung Ton, and into Hang Hung Ton either via the river entrance or the dry upper entrance. Both these entrances combine and the cave enters Tomo valley. From here the main river flows into Hang Kim in a number of entrances all uniting in the main passage which continues and exits either via the river and waterfall climbs or by the easier dry exits into Tu Lan valley.

In this valley a number of important caves are present. Upstream is the impressive Hang Ken over 3km long which has 2 main branches one of which can be entered with extreme care via the upstream Hung Dung valley. The amount of water in this cave is controlled by which sink it enters. This changes most years after floods so some years the river passage has a very powerful current and other years is passable. Downstream from Hang Ken is Tu Lan cave which is the final downstream river cave discovered in this valley. This 2.2km long major river cave has 3 main waterfalls and finally sumps after a 1km long swim. The rivers from Hang Ken and Hang Kim unite and flow into Hang Tu Lan. The water is not seen again until the resurgence. The water from Tu Lan Cave is assumed to feed the large rising below Hang Tien over 2km away in a straight line. A number of caves have been explored in this area Hang Uy, Hang Da Ne, Hang Ruc.

The second sink of the Nan river is about 500m downstream.  Above this sink is Hang Chuot a 500m long large well decorated dry cave which goes through the hill into La Ken valley. In this large valley is another dry cave Hang Gibbon and a small resurgence cave.

The river flows across La Ken valley and sinks in 2 places, both of which feed into Hang Ken. One branch continues into Hung Dung and through Hang Doi before finally sinking in Hung Nhai. The sink in Hung Nhai may feed Hang Uy or Hang Ruc.

The other branch flows through Hang Ken and into Tu Lan valley and so to Hang Tu Lan as described before.

The final section of caves in this very diverse area is the major high level passage which runs South of the major river cave systems and this section is all a flood overflow in the rainy season. It is thought this section of cave in the past took the main river to form the giant passage we see at present times. These caves all at the same altitude start in a small valley just after Tan Hoa village with Hang Dinh 1 and 2 then Monster cave and Ba Tho.

Near the resurgence lies Hang Tien 1 and 2 which is now over 5km of major passage heading towards Ba Tho. Large sections of this cave are over 80m high and 50m wide. This cave is a complex system of dry and active passages with many excellent formations.

 

 

Cave

Length

Explored

Hang Chuot

280m

1992

Hang Hung Ton

495m

1992 and 2012

Hang Song Oxalis

297m

1992 surveyed 2012

Hang Tien

2311m

1994

Hang Ken

3683m

2010

Hang Tu Lan

2226m

2010

Hang To Mo

70m

2010

Hang Uoi

310m

2012

Hang Kim

829m

2012

Secret Cave

174m

2013

Dinh 1

2015

Monster

1430

2015

Dinh 2

950

2015

Uy

876

2016

Ba Tho

292

2015

Tien 1 ext

700

2015

Tien 2

2519

2015/16

Rua

905

2016

Ruc

631

2016

Da Ne

280

2015

Dung 1

100

2016

DUNG Goat

25

2016

Dung Res

30

2016

Dung 2

200

2016

Dung 3

2016

Dung

150

2016

Total

19763m

 

 

 

 

 

Cave

Average width of passage

Average height of passage

Hang Chuot

20-30m

15-20m

Hang Hung Ton

10

10

Hang Song Oxalis

20

10

Hang Tien-entrance

50

100

Hang Tien entrance passage

40-50

30-40

Hang Tien rest of cave

10-15 (some 5m)

20 (some 5m)

Hang Ken

15-30

10-20

Hang Tu Lan

25-35

10-30

Hang To Mo

10

5

Hang Uoi

10-15

8-12

Hang Kim

15-20

15

Secret Cave

10-15

5-7

Topo Map of the Tu Lan Cave System

Howard and Deb Limbert.



Frogs and Ducks and Ruc and Rua

As part of the 2016 expedition we had a trip sponsored by Oxalis to caves in the Tu Lan area. We hoped to find great caves. Oxalis hoped that we would find great caves suitable for tourism. First we went to Hang Tien to further the exploration of Hang Tien 2 (more of this in a separate article). A celebratory night of beer and croaking frogs; then, as we were leaving camp, some woodcutters arrived.

 

Hang Ruc

We asked the usual questions and got a good answer. Only 5 minutes walk, from where our porters' bikes were parked, was a resurgence cave; Hang Ruc. We walked to the farmhouse, then; as promised; 5 minutes further. By a beautiful pool in the river, there was the resurgence. Uy was on lead with Adam target, Paul on book and Brian on photos and Disto X. 50m to a sump, a little dry side passage, to a parallel streamway, downstream to a sump and upstream to another sump; or so Uy thought.

Adam swam the upstream pool, then waded, then swam, then noticed a dry passage to the right then low airspace for a bit to a small chamber. Right was a dry tube passing a side passage and climb to the aforementioned dry right branch. Then back into the water, and back to tell Uy, Brian and Paul; it goes.

While Adam was gone, the passage to the downstream sump had been surveyed. Uy's hydrophobia stopped him coming further upstream. So the intrepid 3 continued.

Surveying was slow in the swims and wades; luckily the dry tube bypassed the need to survey the low airspace passage. The chamber quickly sumped upstream so it was back to the side passage. A helpful and unusual formation marking the survey station at the junction. A stal column only half the height of the passage, an eroded chert false floor providing the base. On down this we met a stream, downstream connecting with the first sump we found; again not a sump. Upstream 100m to a well decorated chamber and upstream sump, right to fossil passage, a rat, a giant spider and hanging death close to the surface. Exiting, well overdue, we met Howard, Thin, a van, and beers on the Cao Quang road; on the Tan Hoa side of the pontoon bridge.

 

Hang Rua

After arriving at the Tu Lan office. We set off for the cave, previously explored by Oxalis staff, but unsurveyed and deemed uninteresting. A bus ride into Tan Hoa village and down past the president's house and across the river to the resurgence. Adam and Brian swapping survey jobs. The cave is 4-5m wide and almost a kilometre long, of mixed wades and swims, well washed every flood season and devoid of formations. But a fine easy through trip to a climb out through boulders into a nettle patch. The cave will need a little gardening and a couple of short ladders, to make it safe. We, however, continued out to the road with no mobile reception. We strolled, checking phones, to call for a lift back to the office, for food, beer, and hammocks. The successful day finishing with beer and frogs' legs overlooking the moonlit river.

 

Adam Spillane

Hang Tien - 2016 Extension

Hang Tien was first explored during the 1994 expedition. At the time, getting there was a mini-expedition in its own right – 3 days of buses, boats and Shanks’s pony. However, the cave made the trip worthwhile, with a large entrance dominating the approach valley and giving access to a spectacular cave which was more complex than most of its contemporaries. At the end of that expedition, the cave was 2.5km long albeit with no obvious prospect of continuation.

Rolling the clocks forward 22 years (!), access to Hang Tien has become a little easier. New roads and regular visits to the area by groups organised by outdoor adventure provider Oxalis have helped to smooth the way and it was during one such trip that one of the guides was able to learn from local woodcutters that a continuation did in fact exist on the far side of the exit doline.

Having had a thirst for exploration ignited by participation in both the previous expedition and during tours to Hang Son Doong, Uy quickly trekked across the dense jungle and managed to find the needle in the green haystack. A small entrance emitting a strong breeze gave encouragement that better things lay close by.

In July 2015, the members of the team based in Son Trach were able to conduct initial exploration of Hang Tien 2. The small entrance dropped quickly to a large and well-decorated continuation which bored off westwards into the hitherto uncharted block of limestone between Cao Quang and Tu Lan.  Low down the passage dropped to what appeared to be the water table – a feature of the original cave – but a high level was left wide open with a large passage awaiting the 2016 expedition.

In March 2016, the open passage in Hang Tien 2 represented a prime lead for the expedition. An eager team camped by the clear turquoise pool of the resurgence and could barely wait to follow the passage across the kilometres all the way to Tan Hoa. Around 5km in a straight line – how much passage would that amount to with the twists and turns of the cave? Well, actually, not very much. As so often happens, we surveyed up a boulder slope and down the other side to a mud and boulder filled funnel of disappointment. Somewhat deflated, we turned to look at the side passage noted opposite the final survey station from 2015.

A climb up a gour dam gave us access to another series of gours and an impressive cracked mud floor. Beyond a pool, a further gour dam rose up before us in 2 steps. 3m or so, followed by a further 8m, all vertical. It was another blow. We had some gear to climb such an obstacle, but it was several hours away at camp. We debated the options; there appeared to be a passage high up at roof level, but was it enough to justify returning the following day? Brian had another suggestion – fill a bag with sand and throw it up like a grappling hook into the lower gour. Eyebrows were raised. Brian asked us to help. We returned to debating whether or not to come back.

A few of crashes and splashes later, the Petzl Transporter with (some) sand was lodged over the first gour dam. A lighter member of the team (Uy) was pushed up with the rope attached to the bag giving some degree of assistance. As he stood at the base of the main gour wall, the cynics were forced to admit that maybe it wasn’t such a crackpot idea after all. We resolved to return with whatever climbing gear we could muster.

The following day’s caving equipment included a drill, rope, slings, bolts etc. It also included part of a small sapling. The Vietnamese had decided all this western paraphernalia was a waste of time and had come up with their own solution.

Back in the gour chamber, Brian and Uy quickly scaled the lower gour. (They had to be quick because even Brian admitted that what he had belayed to was probably not the sort of thing you would confidently use to tie up a small dog). We were about to set up a photo of the climbing efforts when a quick glance revealed that Uy had leaned the sapling against the gour and had rapidly propelled himself to the top of it. As we looked on in a mixture of awe and horror, he let go of the sapling and padded up the still very steep gour. It was like watching a climber on a grit stone slab, although the consequences of something bad happening here would have been infinitely more serious. In all my years of caving, I have never seen a bolder bit of pushing.

Atop the gour, Uy indicated that the passage looked good. We suggested he reap his reward and check it out, having first established that a belay for the ascent of mortals was available. While he went off to explore, we humbly fumbled our way up the rope.

The way on was indeed good. A large sandy passage headed north. Not west as we hoped, but north was also good as there was still large expanse of Type 1 rock in that direction. Long survey legs were quickly recorded. The passage became sandy and started to descend. We began to feel a sense of the inevitable and sure enough we quickly dropped down to a large, gloomy sump pool. Another blow.

Working back up the slope, we found a continuation to the east. A small passage which clearly took a lot of water at times gave us some more quick survey legs. Near a canal section, we opted to stay dry. The only problem here was that the dry way quickly became very small and very sharp. As it was lunchtime, we took the opportunity to have a break before tackling the wet route. The advantage of having caving porters now became apparent as the anticipated lunch of choco pies and Pontefract cakes actually materialised as fried egg butties with tomatoes and cucumber. And choco pies and Pontefract cakes, obviously!

Back with the water, Adam boldly headed off into the distance to see if we all needed to get wet. Fortunately we did, and several hundred metres later we had passed canals, swims, climbs and a chamber with a dragon and an elephant (rock and calcite formations respectively). Beyond this, the passage took another turn for the worse as it dropped gloopily to a climb down into what appeared to be a sump. The last 4m looked like it would be irreversible, hence the sump could not be confirmed, but later survey data bashing suggested it was likely to be so.

A final check of a side passage gave access to a pitch of around 20-30m into water. With no gear we were unable to descend, but at some stage this should be checked as an upstream continuation would have a reasonable possibility of giving access to a worthwhile extension.

In conclusion, the 2015 exploration of Hang Tien 2 amounted to around 1.5km and during the 2016 expedition, this was extended by a further 1km of sporting cave which was rarely without interest. The end point reached actually turned out to be close to the entrance doline, although the undescended pitch remains a significant question mark as any upstream development would have a long way to go before nearing other known cave. All in all, an excellent few days in a spectacular cave with some of the special memories that are so often found in Vietnam.

 

Paul Ibberson – April 2016

Hoa Son 2016

Whilst the majority of our work in Quang Binh has been focused on the eastern and southeastern parts of the Ke Bang massif, there remains elsewhere a large area of untapped potential from a caving point of view. Various forays have been made around the edges of the block over the years, many proving fruitful in terms of caves found, but the central area has suffered from the dual issues of difficult physical access and the lack of regular local traffic. The establishment of the National Park has led to an increase in visits from Park Rangers and this in turn has begun to open up possible opportunities for further speleological investigation.

Ruc Ma Rinh

We had been told of an entrance where a stream sank at the base of a cliff, with a walking size entrance leading to a wading section. The purported location sounded very interesting, being on the edge of the Park in a position between known resurgences to the west of Ban On and the Cha Lo area at the western end of the massif. Either way, the sink seemed to have a long way to go to reach other known features and it was clearly something we needed to go and check out.

 
A lunchtime arrival at the army checkpoint on the way into the Hoa Son valley did not go quite as smoothly as hoped (“We need to see your actual passports not just your permission letter and document scans”), but eventually we were allowed to pass. Presumably this was on the basis that our visit was under the auspices of the National Park and the Park Ranger service.
 
At the Ranger station, we set about planning the trip and were a little surprised when advised the walk in would be 5 hours rather than the 3-4 which had also been mentioned. This meant we would not be able to prepare and leave that day as we would not make camp by nightfall. The rangers were very welcoming, but a long afternoon spent twiddling our thumbs was a necessary frustration to be endured.
 
The following morning, our 4 rangers/guides/porters were ready in good time and a battered old minibus arrived to take us the last couple of kilometres to the road head.  As usual, there had been a degree of inconsistency in the description of the walk (not hard, not steep, wet, dry, steep in places etc), but the initial stages followed a river valley west. It was steady going, but over boulders and stream sections so concentration was required at all times. After an hour or so, we turned and followed a subsidiary valley southwards, climbing past banana plantations and reaching a wet section through tufa dams and on into the forest.
 
Towards the 3 hour mark, we passed over a high draughty col and dropped to a resting point by a larger stream. The rangers now said it was 3 more hours to camp. Cue wry smiles all round as the ever-increasing-walk-time syndrome reared its ugly head.
 
A further hour brought us to a rather incongruous large concrete sign which denoted the National Park boundary. From this point, the paths became considerably less well frequented and consequently a fair bit harder going, but an hour and a half later we were unloading our sacks in a clearing which was to be home for the next few days. The cave was apparently 20 minutes further on, so after a quick bit of camp fettling we headed off to get on with the main objective.
 
The stream by camp soon joined another larger stream and we followed their course towards the limestone boundary. At an abrupt left turn, where a third stream bed joined from the west, we caught our first glimpse of the entrance. The waters did indeed sink at the base of a large cliff and the 20m high by 10m wide opening emitted a pleasing cool breeze. We were quickly engaged with the job of surveying, following the stream through a wading section and on into the hill. High to the left was a large black void, but we stayed with the water through rapids and traverses. A couple of cascades looked tricky and a traverse over them revealed the last to be a spout into a deep pool with overhanging sides. Rope required and the end of today’s penetration after just a few hundred metres.
 
Back at the black void, we climbed up into a significant high level series which started with a large fin of rock which had the appearance of a head with a Mohican haircut. A large continuation carried a good draught; we assumed it would be another entrance, but this failed to materialise and eventually the passage closed down. A strangely limp end, but at least we had roughly doubled the day’s survey total.
 
The next day saw us armed with the necessary to descend the cascade pitch and access the continuation below. Disappointingly, the continuation turned out to be nothing of the sort as the assumed way on was an alcove and the water drained into what appeared to be a sump. Swimming across to an inlet passage, a short traverse gained a balcony looking down a short pitch to a large lake and across into a vast chamber. Expectation was not boundless, but with the pitch equipped the lake was passed and a downstream flow regained. Unfortunately the flow led quickly into a boulder and tree filled blockage which did not look overly promising.
 
Heading up the slope in the chamber, we wondered if there would be a connection back to the previous day’s high level series, but atop the boulder slope we were surprised to find a huge fault-induced rift booming off into the distance. Beneath the house-sized boulders we could once more hear the stream burbling away and enthusiasm was rekindled.
 
The way on proved to be not straightforward and we spent some time going up and down and round and through the various collapses. This earned the passage the name “Whose Fault is This?” but eventually we reached a point where an obscure climb down regained the stream passage and easier going. Beyond some more wading and a couple of short swims, the draught picked up, as did our hopes of something big. What we found was another cascade section. This again looked dodgy without rope and although the passage continued tantalisingly on below the cascades we decided that discretion was the better part of valour and called a halt, happy in the knowledge that leaving a nice big question mark is rarely a bad way to finish a day’s surveying.
 
On the way out we did our best to capture the essence of the cave on camera and on exiting we found out that it had been raining for much of the day.  It was also considerably colder than thus far on the trip and overnight things worsened. Rain, wind and cold meant it was a miserable night and then the long walk out was something of an ordeal. Wet rocks and newly greased mud slopes meant concentration was even more required and even the rangers were having difficulty staying upright. We were just relieved not to be in the cave in such conditions and proceeded to route march out in around four and a half hours.
 
Paul Ibberson

Xuong Valley  

The remote Xuong valley was again visited by the expedition. The remote location and difficult terrain again proved to be attritional with team members suffering a debilitating knee injury and a nasty deep wound to the shin requiring stitches. The lack of water dictates the location of camps and subsequent pace of trips to this area. The high altitude led to some very cold night’s camping, for the team of Ryan, Brian, Sweeny and Martin to the point of campfires being lit under the hammocks for heat.

Noi Dong (Copper pan)

One day walk from water well in the main Xuong valley. Camp was 30 minutes from the entrance. Although it would be possible to camp at the entrance water would need to be carried in 20 minutes away No water was found inside shaft.

A 10m diameter shaft with a second adjacent shaft that was separated by a large rib of jungle covered rock joined half way down.

The Shaft was rigged on the left side as approached using a small tree and backed up with a long rope sling to a second tree. A re belay 5m down gave reasonable free hang, although a small rub on calcite would require a rope protector or rebelay below if heavy use expected.

A beautiful 70m shaft landed on ledge to a rebelay placed on the right wall to give a further 10m pitch with a deviation half way down. The sloping passage of loose rock led to head of another pitch. Possibly up to 100m deep with solid walls to start the rigging from. This was undescended due to lack of time and equipment. The bats were left in peace that were roosting on the underground shaft wall. A bolt placed on the left wall was the survey station.

Du Du (Papaya Cave)

One day walk from the water well in the main Xuong valley but in a different direction to Noi Dong. Camp was 10 minutes from the entrance and it would be possible to camp at the cave or in the entrance as water was found inside cave and subsequently used as the water supply.

An easy scramble from the doline led to a large entrance. A large well decorated passage headed into the hillside. A short way in was an impressive ‘colonnade’ formation.  Below was a short hand line descent to silted crawl. The main way on continued with easy scrambling across boulders and stal formations that eventually filled the passage at a terminal stal choke. A small passage on the left led to a free climb that ended with no way on.

There were a number of pools of water throughout the cave provided drinking water and also for washing judging by all the shampoo wrappers. Ryan took a photographic record of the cave during which time was also spent cleaning rejoice wrappers between shots.

Hang Leo

Hang Leo was the largest cave we found following a week long trek through the Jungle originating in the Hang Thuong valley and involved the traverse of the short Airplane cave and Hang 18.The cavers consisted of Deb, Tom, Brian and Martin.

Camp was set up approximately 50 minutes from cave next to a small fossil cave used as the water supply. Access was over very difficult Karst.

The entrance, a large Doline with an exposed free climb down the right side on approach to a slope of boulders and the cave entrance arch. At the drip line was evidence of fresh monkey droppings.  Inside the cave numerous animal prints were observed possibly taking advantage of the pools of water in the entrance series. This consisted of a large dry chamber leading to a narrow section through stal to a second flat floored chamber and a larger pool of water.

A 5m climb (hand line) up calcite at the far end led onto a balcony in a stunning position overlooking a large underground chamber and lake. The lake was reached by a series of abseils down to the right. A short 5m pitch dropped onto a rift ledge and a second 15m pitch over a large calcite flow onto a sloping mud covered slope. This was descended against the wall in an attempt to keep the rope as a free hang where possible. Keeping in balance against the wall on the slippery mud did prove entertaining and with some difficulty. Subsequent ‘mud screws’ crafted from small branches aided progress. The large underground lake was extremely cold due to being percolation water. After a very chilly swim of the perimeter of the lake the only way on found was on the opposite side. A 15 m climb up a mud wall led to a large alcove, again wooden sticks crafted from the jungle proved essential to scale the mud wall. A 5m aid climb and traverse on solid rock and calcite led across to another large chamber. A large balcony overlooking the lake gave another stunning position. The large chamber was well decorated and circumnavigated a 5m deep pit in the centre with a pitch at its base. On the right of the chamber was another pitch series that connected to the pit pitch approximately 75m lower. The pitch in the pit was a deep shaft and a series of pitches descended approximately 125m to a choked conclusion.

Hang Hoa Huong

I guess we should have known from the start, a visit to the border post to confirm our intentions. Some discussions took place resulting in the instructions we need to go to the other post for permission. Rather than go backwards and forward we decided to hop off the truck at KM30 and head into the jungle. A steady climb led to a short cave with a large entrance porch and the obvious bivi. As the camp was taking shape two very irate National Park rangers arrived and the ensuing shouting, silence, pointing, clearly not a happy ranger. This was further compounded when reference was being made to the timber being assembled for the hammocks, in the distance the clear sound of chopping. Thud, thud, thud we heard the machete striking timber followed by the slow creak of a falling tree and the crashing finale as it crashed to the floor. The final straw or was it the final tree? Deb and Ky were ordered back down the hill to explain ourselves. Meanwhile having sat like chastised children we could do no better than erupt into a fit of giggles. This was the perfect start to another adventure. A trip including epic climbs where even porters required hand lines, water supplied from vines and banana trees and a cramped jeep journey sat on a butchered cow, eyes staring.

Our journey had taken us to a number of caves all of which proved to be either short  such as Gio Lanh  (Cold wind cave) although very well decorated was barely a 100m long or blind shafts such as Paparazzi pot.

Running out of options it was decided to return to Hang Hoa Huong last visited in 2012. Some doubt existed over a passage believed to be in the entrance chamber. The 2012 team survey showed it as choked but Ho Khanh was convinced of a cave passage. The 2012 report describes the cave under the K30 valley and simply says “the right was a calcite choke” and the survey shows an alcove. A comfortable camp was made close to the entrance. The 2012 report describes the entrance as good with sunbeams streaming in. Indeed this was true and sunbeams were a spectacle especially when viewed from a new section of cave. High up to the right was a large porch through calcite, No one wanted to be the one to ‘close’ down the cave and eventually I was volunteered. Positive thoughts produce caves so to the tune of ‘I could be so lucky, lucky, lucky I set off entering almost immediately a large well decorated passage with a number of routes off. Calling back Alan, Ryan and Deb quickly followed with the surveying kit to explore what turned out to be almost 3km of new cave passage.

Initially a complex area was followed down a number of slopes to the left and what we felt would connect to the 2012 series. However the passages choked so after some time photographing the impressive stal it was back to the last lead in the initial part of the new passage. 

A 5m drop requiring a hand line rigged to the convenient stal dropped into a spectacularly beautiful passage and the start of Mike’s mile generously left for us to discover. Ahead we surveyed through large tunnels of changing character. At times easy well decorated, at other times large complex boulders to negotiate. One common feature was mud throughout the cave. This however created its own characteristics and at one point a knife edge arête of mud had to be traversed with a steep drop below. This became affectionately known as the mud Cuillins. We were nearly stopped by a huge boulder ramp down but after a lot of searching a route was found. At the bottom we thought we were going to be stopped by a sump, however  this was not a sump and we were able to crawl through into what seemed a distinct change of character in the cave. The cave was a large rift and a climb up led to a second more exposed climb. Alan boldly scaled the climb to enter another rift and stopped by a pitch back down. This was the end of our exploration for the time being. A few days later Alan, Tom and Dan returned with rigging kit returned to complete the exploration, sadly the way on became complex and soon ended.

Martin Holroyd

Thank You

Hanoi University
Phong Nha National Park
Quang Binh Peoples Committee
Oxalis
Lyon Equipment
Dr John Burton
Kerry Pilkington
Our fantastic porters and guides

Vietnam 2016

 

Howard Limbert
Deb Limbert
Alan Jackson
Adam Spillane
Ian Watson
Dave Ramsey
Ruth Mc Donald
Daniel Jackson
Brian Judd
Darren McKenzie
Paul Ibberson
Gareth “Sweeny” Sewell
Ryan Deboodt
Tom Chapman
Martin Holroyd

 

Caves Surveyed

Name Length Depth
Bang 812 121
Xuong Khi 64 56
Hang Leo 559 133
Hang Lui 182 96
Hang Hoan 255 40
Hang Bai 1 and 2 266 68
Cay Sang 850 64
Paparazzi 110 53
Crime doesn't pay
Hoa Huong 2876 121
Vuc Chuot 196 111
Ladder 170 22
Thuong 360 67
K19 100 30
K17 550 150
Hang Bom 1500 15
Gian 30 6
A Nam 250 23
Tre 109 16
Du Du 476 59
Shaft-Noi Dong 93
Ruc Ma Rinh 2 1316 95
Dinh 1 1430 39
Dinh 2 950 45
Uy 876 27
Monster
Ba Tho 292 29
Tien 1 ext 700
Tien2 2519 94
Rua 905 15
Ruc 631 13
Da Ne 280 6
Dung 1 100 5
DUNG Goat 25 7
Dung Res 30 0
Dung 2 200 15
Dung 3
Dung 150 30
Vom xt 250
Hang Cay Moc 350 129
Hang Khong Ten 168 35
Hang Tren Nui 40 8
Hang Doc 5 39
Vuc Hung ?70m
Hang Tulu 145 15
TOTAL 20127

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