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Dafung

Length

2009m 

Vertical Range

 99m

Latitude

18 1'20.67 N

Longitude

122° 0'44.00"E

Alternative Name

 

Dafung90

Click on the image above to download the full size PDF survey

Approach

An old logging track through the jungle goes to within 10m of the 70x50m doline.  Unless you jump off at the right place you'll walk right past it.  Use a GPS!

Entrance Description

It's big.  Really big.  The doline is 70m x 50m and was eastern edge.  A belay off a tree allows you to gain access to the top of the pitch which gives a 90m freehang to the high point in the floor below.  Bring a long rope!

Description

 An airy freehang 100m pitch lands at the bottom of the doline.  Upstream hosts a very large bat colony and has been called Hell.  Downstream picks up the rest of the Blue Water and is exceptionally good, big, river cave.  We liked it so much we called it Heaven.

Tackle

 100m rope for main pitch is only just long enough.

Prospects

 Upstream end is wide open and big.  Turned around due to time.  Numerous high level side passages.

Team

 

Trips 

Helicopter Hole, Saturday 18th April – (Henry Bennett, Henry Dawson, Oliver Legg) (Ranger, Pio, DJ)

Today we went to explore a hole in the jungle, which had been described by the locals as “big enough to land a helicopter in it”. We also suspected whether it was the hole in the canopy Henry B. had been eyeing up on Google Earth for 10 years. We set off for “kilometer 12” on motorbikes, us riding pillion, Pio and our local guides doing the hard bit of traversing the rough track.

The walk in was about 1.5km on a well made path (possibly a logging trail, starting at the local’s house, one y-shapped junction, take the right), which lead straight to “Helicopter Hole”. When we arrived we confirmed on the GPS that it was the hole that Henry B. had been looking at. Henry D. rigged off a tree, directly next to the main path, to have a look down, the rock was very soft, and slopped slightly (no overhang) and he decided to look for another rigging spot with more of an overhang. He found another on the far right hand side of the doline, and rigged it with a couple of re-belays on trees, then a final 4 bolts for the remaining 85m pitch (long sling on tree back from edge, small sling on overhanging tree by the edge,. Henry D. abseiled in, then Oliver L. followed in with some supplies. We spent about 30m exploring 4m drop to small ledge, traverse small ledge, long sling on overhanging tree, descend directly 4m, re-belay with 4 splits due to quality of rock, plum hang to the bottom, rope length was 100m, could do with another 20m, for a total 120m). We spent 30 minutes each of the two passage ways. The first, “Beauty”, was a streamway with crystal blue water running over gower pools, gower dams & gower rapids (some with helictites growing on them). We finished at climb down over a 5m, prestine, gower dames with some very pretty striations. Very strong draught indicates potential over entrance in the area. Bottom of gower dam is a deep canal series. 

The second, “Beast”, was atmospheric (~40m wide and 60m high). Large boulders and sand on the floor, after a few hundred meters, pools of water and a stream are encounters. At this point the passage doubles back on itself and continues on similar proportions and style. Very large bat colony, 500,000 – 1000,000 bats in the roof, worth taking umbrella for surveying! Bats not a problem, they remain in the roof. Make’s you feel very small.

Helicopter Hole – Henry Dawson, Oliver Legg

Went to explore the downstream passage, “Beauty”. After climbing down the gower dam, the extent to which we’d explored previously, we were swimming in a deep canal. Surveyed 1.1km downstream, stopping due to time. The passageway alternated between deep water passageway and large chambers, generally with large boulders on the floor. Many large sections of pristine white flowstone in many of the chambers. There are a couple of leads left unexplored.    

Helicopter Hole – Henry D, Ollie, Rob, and Laura

Dropped entrance in 2 pairs making for a quicker trip. Henry and Laura went ahead and started surveying whilst Rob and Ollie caught up. 20 mins on bikes to get to turn off, 30-45mins to walk to doline, 30 mins to rig and drop with all gear left ready, 20 mins to drop once rigged. Once down takes about 1 hour caving to get to waterfall pitch. Here Rob rigged and the rest chilled out. Henry did a bit more rigging and then caved out with Ollie when time ran out. The pitch looked very likely to be the connection but we were 2 bolts off when the turnaround time came for the callout. Peo had told us not to sit on the road alone due to people doing illegal things at night on the road. He also told us not to leave the pitch rigged overnight as swift nest collectors could come and steal it. 

Derigging the pitch takes a fast SRT person about 45 mins including climbing up. An average SRT person takes 45 mins to get up. Rig is large tree to right of doline from main path, then another smaller tree to drop to a ledge then another tree before a very short drop to the main hang with 4 spits (lots falling off whilst rigging). Main hang 85m (ish). 100m rope shrunk makes the rig with slings between the first two trees as a traverse. However this only makes it with the pull on the rope stretching it and therefore needs you to tie a very long sling to a good tree at the bottom to get hold of the bottom of the rope when you try and get back up. Do not try to do this unless you want to end up looking up at the end of the rope from the bottom! 

Fingers crossed we have made the connection but Ollie had to see the pitch from the bottom and spot a log nearby that had been calcited. We will go down fully kitted up for the next trip and push for the resurgence (apparently it is 4 hours round trip from the bottom to the last pitch they reached last year).

 

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