Sunday, 8 December 2013

Weds 20th Nov - Speliomania at Mulu

Here's a site about the Palm Oil that is blighting Malaysia:

I almost forgot to write about the 'Adventure Caving' option at Mulu National Park. So here briefly it is. I'd wanted to visit the Sarawak Chamber, a huge totally subterranean hangar that until recently held the record as the largest cave chamber in the world, (as distinguished from 'passage' that is either more corridor proportioned, or is open to the outside at one end, depending on who you listen to.) Anyway, ambiguity of terminology aside, the Sarawak Chamber is basically a vast underground 'room' at the end of a long thin 'corridor' underneath a mountain in Gunnang Mulu National Park. I wanted to visit it, because I'd read about it years ago. To do this 12 hour 'advanced' adventure cave tour, one had to prove aptitude at less demanding caves, or membership of a speliogolical society. Fair enough I thought, and proceeded to show them photos of me up to my knees in Vietnamese caves, which seemed to do the trick.

Unfortunately, it was now the season for heavy rains and it looked like this option would be closed for the rest of the year. So instead, I was offered a trip to Stone Horse Cave, an 'intermediate cave'. Jolly good it was too, a great taster of proper caving with a few thrills, a little bit of risk, but nothing too strenuous. 

My disappointment at not being able to visit the Sarawak Chamber was tempered by the knowledge that that tour ends at the entrance to the chamber. The floor is too uneven and boulder-strewn to allow safe access, and besides, there are few lights bright enough to illuminate a cave of this size, so one is just left staring into a black void, trying to imagine just how big that void might actually be.

Tying basic rope sit-harnesses.
Into the mouth of Stone Horse.

A roped traverse across a ledge above a fifty foot drop provided the 'adventure' bit of this caving trip.

More roped traverses. Not visible - the vertiginous drop on either side of the lowere ridge.
Stuck in a hole.
This beautiful lizard obliged us by staying very still for portraits.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.