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Hang Ho Ky
The entrance to this cave was in the vicinity of the large fault heading towards Hang Son Doong, and so was a good lead to find large passage. The first team to visit was unable to bottom the cave due to lack of a drill and rigging gear, but left the cave with a draught and looking into a large passage. The nearest camp site was located a long way from a decent water supply, using a static pool in the limestone.
Due to the potential of the area, it was decided to send a second team to finish exploration. A day and a half's walk saw us back at the dry campsite. No water to cook lunch, so it was straight off for the steep hour's walk to the entrance. We passed the pool on the way, and it looked very small and murky!

The entrance was an impressive steeply sloping shaft. Ky showed us where the previous team had rigged the rope, and we were off. Thunder was rattling around as we descended and we soon heard the sound of heavy rain. Great, that would bring the leeches out and make the walk back a slippery mess. With the use of a drill Mike was able to create a decent safe rig. The entrance slope led to a short vertical drop, followed by a long slope down the right hand wall to a more level area. Traversing to the left we then followed the left wall down another steep slope, crossing back to the right to rebelay to some stals. An 18m vertical pitch with a knot change landed on a rubble slope in a stooping passage.

The passage soon enlarged, but stopped at a popcorn covered drop of 12m. We rigged a rope and descended into the lower chamber. The passage continued, and soon enlarged to 12m wide and 40m high. It was well decorated but was soon split by a rock bridge. Continuing underneath the passage closed in and was blocked by calcite.
The passage above the rock bridge looked enticing, black spaces could be seen between the stals. With no way to climb up easily we had to be inventive. Adam and Mike managed after a few attempts to lasso a calcited block on the bridge. One end was belayed off, and Mike bravely prusiked onto the ledge! Unfortunately the passage soon met the fate of the lower one and blocked with calcite.
Returning we could feel the occasional breeze, but it was possibly just circulating air, there was definitely no other way on. Arriving back in camp, we had the luxury of a good water supply. The team in camp had used their plastic sheets to collect water and fill 2 large tackle bags. Time for rice and green tea.
Deb Limbert


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