Vietnamcaves.com

Vietnam 2012: The Descent of Son Doodle by W.H. Bowman–Long

 
Although discovered as recently as 2009 Son Doodle was soon established as the world's biggest controversy. Expeditions were mounted year on year and month on month to film in Son Doodle and to try and break the holy grail of speleological world records – the record for the maximum number of people in a single underground camp. Son Doodle is totally invisible from the Ho Chi Minh highway, yet such are its mystical properties, that; by standing on the barrier at the side of the road and holding your camera above your head; a picture may be taken of the jungle of the Ke Bang massif. Son Doodle is 150ft above sea level, 40000 and a half feet long, and bigger than Odsal stadium.

The objectives of the 2012 expedition were; a new world record and a first traverse of the cave by a film star.
A team was assembled capable of performing this incredible and therefore unimaginable feat. The team of Yoshida – a cameraman with climbing experience, Takashi – a director with drinking expertise. How At – an up and coming chat show natural. Hugh Grant – an established filmstar. Generator Man – a cook and world's strongest man contender. The caving porters - a selection picked at random from Chief Biscuit Eater, Watto, Dep, Leg End, Dun Can, Adam the girl, and Sweeny. The final team was chosen; only by the continually changing expedition dates.
This team could not have achieved these objectives without the porters, led by Khanh, Ky and Nguyen. Supported by: a five man lighting team; sound team; camera team; geologist; stumbling team; forestry team; and someone on a lead; 5 porters carrying generators; 6 carrying fuel; 7 carrying sleeping equipment; 8 carrying food; 9 carrying cameras; and 10 carrying equipment for the remainder of the porters. A boy carried equipment for these last 10 and his own equipment.
After a long time, all of the equipment and all of the people were loaded into all of the vehicles. 40 minutes later we arrived at the road head. The people were counted and the bags were counted then all of the superfluous equipment was consumed or abandoned until the numbers matched, and the loads were heavy enough.
Progress started initially slow but was soon moderated to a crawl. After what seemed like hours the team arrived at the first water stop. Here bottles could be filled, caps dunked, and stars soaked. We then arrived at our first food stop, rice wine and lizard to fill our food and drink requirements.
As it started to rain, we ran for a location where being trapped by flood water was much more likely. This would make the film, more exciting, more deadly, more boring; depending on personal opinion and absence of knowledge and experience. The first campsite is one of the world's finest; air conditioning, soft sand, plentiful water, snakes and high ceilings. Here the boy was taken ill.
The following morning the boy was no better, an evacuation must commence. Loads were redistributed to make them heavier, and the weather looked worse. A choice was made to hurry to Son Doodle, some still thought that footage of flooding would be exciting. It was putting the expedition objectives at risk. One more push and we would be safe, trapped if necessary, but able to film and out of danger. Finally we made camp at the level playing fields.
The following days were spent battling fog and fumes as clouds waxed and waned; the filming hampered by climatic conditions and tardiness. Early mornings were cooler and clearer, but alas they came much too early each and every day. The porters became bored, playing cards with ever greater volume; this makes the game more competitive. The louder you shout and the harder you slap down your cards, the better your hand. Then on to feats of strength and feats of balance. People went missing, search parties were tasked, people arrived; until at last we set off to the land of the dinosaurs, traversing precipices while the porters unerringly found; safer, longer, faster routes. Arriving at Beach Camp, via a thorough soaking in a thunderstorm the last phase of the expedition was at hand. A world record set for underground camping, preparations made for a safe, staged exit from the cave, and a plan to scale the last major obstacle, the Great Wall. Would Passchendaele live up to its name? Or would it be a gentle paddle through the darkness? Or as it turned out, a slither along the trench, a quick dunking, and a slide and sink in thixotropic mud at the base of the wall. Some climbed the wall, most were dragged; the only casualty, an errant ladder which rolled – and dived into the pool and disappeared.
So it was that Son Doodle received its first traverse by film stars, and its first and last traverse by makeup bag and electric razor, which had somehow inveigled themselves into the necessary, from the superfluous. So ended Vietnam 2012, and so began preparations for the return in 2013.
 
Team Members
 
Dr Anette Becher
Mike Bottomley
Russ Brooks
Howard Clarke
Martin Colledge
Martin Holroyd
Howard Limbert
Deb Limbert
Andy McKenzie
Peter McNab
Mick Nunwick
Gareth Sewell
Jonathan Sims
Adam Spillane
Ian Watson
Acknowledgements
 
Keela
Lyon Equipment
Hope Technology
5.10 Boots
Vietnam Airlines
John Burton
Toshiba
Peter Ward/Span Set
Inglesport
John Atkinson City Learning Centre
Phoenix Survey & Safety Equipment
Thanh Dat Hotel
Oxalis Adventures
Hanoi University of Science
 
Nguyen Hieu
Vu Le Phuong
Dang Kinh Bac
Nguyen Duc Hanh
Vu Van Phai
Vu Anh Tai
Tran Ngoc An
Phan Duy Nga
Mr Dzung
  
Oxalis Team
Nguyen Chau
Le Dzung
Phan Van Thin
Phong Nha Village
 
Ho Khanh
Ho Bang Nguyen
Ho Xuan Ky
Ho Van An
Tran Van Phuong
Hoang Xuan Nghia
Nguyen Van Hung
Ngo Phong
Ngo Ky
Ngo Tang
Ngo Son
Mr Hai
Mr Quang

  

 

Special Thanks to Quang Binh Peoples' Committee,
Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park and Forestry Department.

Cave Name GPS Easting GPS Northing Altitude Length Depth Location
Lo Do 637159 1941007 109 317.0 8.0 Phong Na
Dan 637719 1941064 30 36.4 0.0 PN
Hung 3 635241 1935423 314 115.0 19.0 PN
Hang Va 2 636804 1933898 99 1686.0 14.0 PN
Hang Ky 625064 1928100 577 248.0 55.0 Vom
Hang Hai Cua 625891 1928893 465 575.0 127.0 V
Hang Gio 625767 1927487 263 513.0 44.0 V
Hang Trau 626695 1928741 319 186.0 67.0 V
Hang Cay Chay NK NK NK 91.0 38.0 V
Hang Nghia 624045 1929905 628 222.0 103.0 V
Hang Nam 623872 1930425 739 452.0 68.0 V
Hang Nuoc En 639681 1927897 192 450.0 5.0 PN
Thuong valley sink 628883 1940796 459 382.0 55.0 Nuoc Moc
Thuong valley shaft 629282 1940153 523 68.0 68.0 NM
Hang Cao 622659 1943100 750 310.0 55.0 NM
Hang Ming 634994 1938744 50 406.0 27.0 PN
Hang Ho Ky 638227 1930078 514 235.0 93.0 PN
Hang Khe Cung 614827 1936602 749 734.0 95.0 NM
Hang 28 631530 1928201 517 384.0 126.0 PN
Hang 35 629700 1925680 392 1387.0 111.0 V
Hang Hoa Huong 634087 1927228 445 1034.0 62.0 PN
Shaft 30 631399 1927468 468 0.0 80.0 PN
Floodsink 30 632568 1927149 311 20.0 15.0 PN
Hang Uoi (Gibbon) 612956 1966266 234 310.0 9.0 Minh Hoa
Hang Kim 615461 1964853 137 829.0 -20.9 MH
Hang Kim (exit) 614885 1964892 As above As above As above MH
Dong Hoan My 636684 1935140 111 588.0 31.0 PN
Hang Ha Hai 616275 1936021 842 1247.0 182.0 NM
Vuc Ky 615998 1936700 880 3460.0 312.6 NM
Cave Name GPS Easting GPS Northing Altitude Length Depth Location
Hung Ton(wet) 614425 1964933 172 495.1 26.0 MH
Hung Ton. 614796 1964874 As above As above As above MH
Hang 21 631201 1931228 321 1024.0 116.0 PN
Hang Leech2 632311 1923250 636 150.0 30.0 PN
Hang Leech1 632338 1923287 604 30.0 15.0 PN
Hang Cua Nho 632409 1923606 650 924.2 85.2 PN
Hang Cua Nho (Exit) 632513 1924462 665 As above As above PN
Tim Khi 632468 1923129 593 52.4 50.4 PN
Hang Hung 632329 1923302 647 174.0 5.7 PN
Flood sink near foot&mouth 633563 1922136 348 10.0 10.0 PN
Hang Nao 636641 1935406 131 35.0 20.0 MH
Hang Song Oxalis 613900 1965300 172 297.0 15.0 MH
Tu Lan inlet 615335 1964727 125 139.0   MH
Vuc Boom 618248 1933708 797 285.0 232.0 NM
Vuc Em Boom 618350 1933626 759 0.0 50+ NM
Hang K27 631026 1928452 502 45.0 113.0 V
Two Frogs cave 626374 1928253 289 150.0 10.0 V
Hang Hoa 635663 1932864 450 377.0 27.0 PN
Hang Hung KR 634165 1933571 162 473.0 61.0 PN
Hang Son Doong 637258 1929750 250 60.4 4.0 PN
Ca Chien inlet HSD 637258 1929750 250 412.0 34.0 PN
Greysnake 633376 1939252 142 110.0 2.0 V
             
      Total 21528.5    

LONGEST CAVES OF VIETNAM

CAVE NAME

PROVINCE

LENGTH

YEAR

EXPLORATION

Hang Khe Rhy

Quang Binh

18,920

1997/1999

British

Hang Vom

Quang Binh

15,760

1992/1994/09

British

Hang Son Doong

Quang Binh

8,573

2009/10

British

Hang Co Ban

Son La

8,500

1994/1998

British/French/Italian

Hang Phong Nha

Quang Binh

8.329

1990/1992/2010

British

Nguom Ban San

Lang Son

5,416

2001/2003

British

Nguom Sap

Cao Bang

5,379

1997/1999

British

Hang Toi

Quang Binh

5,258

1990/1992

British

Hang Cha Lo

Quang Binh

4,483

2007

British

Hang Duat

Quang Binh

3,927

1994

British

Hang Lanh

Quang Binh

3,753

2001

British

Ban Ngam

Cao Bang

3,600

1995

French/Italian

VucKy

Quang Binh

3,460

2012

British

Hang Thung

Quang Binh

3,351

1994

British

Nguom Nam Lao

Cao Bang

3,360

2001

British

Ki Lu

Cao Bang

3,353

2003

British

Hang Ca-Be

Lang Son

3,342

1992

British

Nguom Pac Bo

Cao Bang

3,248

1997

British

Hang Over

Quang Binh

3,244

1997

British

Pac Lung

Cao Bang

3,109

2001

British

Bo Luong

Lang Son

3,094

2003

British

Hang Nuoc

Hoa Binh

3,075

2003

British

Bo Nhon

Lang Son

3,057

2003

British

Hang Ken

Quang Binh

3.018

2010

British

DEEPEST CAVES OF VIETNAM

CAVE NAME

PROVINCE

DEPTH

YEAR

EXPLORATION

Basta Noodles

Ha Giang

-528

1996

Italian

Hang Son Doong

Quang Binh

-449

2009/10

British

Hang Ong

Ha Giang

-341

2004

Belgian

Xa Lung 2

Ha Giang

-340

2004

Belgian

Hang Ha Lau

Quang Binh

-331

2009/10

British

Vuc Ky

Quang Binh

-313

2012

British

Mu Cai Shaft

Cao Bang

-300

1995

Italian

Pa Ca 1

Ha Giang

-293

2004

Belgian

Cam Thon

Cao Bang

-288

1999/2001

British

Lung Chinh

Ha Giang

-247

2004

Belgian

Hang Vuc Tang

Quang Binh

-244

2009/10

British

Hang Vuc Tang

Quang Binh

-232

2009

British

Ta Chinh

Son La

-184

1997

Belgian

Hang Ha Hai

Quang Binh

-182

2012

British

Cave volumes

Hang Son Doong 38.5 million cubic metres
Han En 7.3 million cubic metres
Khe Ry 32 million cubic metres
Hang Vom 11.8 million cubic metres

Sunbeams

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio

Reports

2012 Report

image024menu

report2009 d3d8182ca9deacbf240dc78f03bb63ba

2007report 7dfb2a4b00f807179d3d38fd3ebaa4fe

report2005 165c622e74bdbdb9191663324fefabeb