Expeditions

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Exploring Penablanca

A 15 strong Team returning after Easter for three weeks

The Caves


Odessa

Length

8773m

Vertical Range

99m

Location

51Q 376674.73m E 1966124.98 m N

Alternative Name

none

Odessa90

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

Approach

From the Blue Water sitio the entrance to the cave is signposted.  

Entrance Description

The river flows out the large entrance into a sizeable pool.  Access is via the right hand side and then climbing up a couple of meters to the stream floor.  The area is now popular with tourists who pay a modest fee to visit the site.

Description

Blue Water Cave is a major river cave which drains the mountain

Tackle

There are a number of pitches in Blue Water and it is possible to go up the first two with the aid of a competent climber.

Pitch 1 - 13m (20m rope)
Pitch 2 -  8.5m (15m rope)

The other pitches have to be approached and rigged from the top

Pitch 3 - 13m (25m rope)
Helicopter Hole - Approximately 100m.  Realistically you need a 100m rope for the main hang and a 20 for the approach sections.

There are also a couple of awkard sections where a long sling is usefull.

Prospects

There are significant opportunities to extend the cave by linking in numerous fossile and active side passages

Team

History

The cave was first explored by Francisco "Ancis" Battung of the Sierra Madre Outdoor Club with his wife's cousin, Nardo Dela Cruz, the very first settler in Blue Water Sitio.  Later during the late 80’s / early 90’s while overseeing logging activities in the area Olympio Muñoz passed on details to the caving community.  During the Speleo Philippines 1995 expedition it was bought to Henry Bennett and Rich Blakes attention but back then it was considered extremely difficult to get to.  The only access was via an old abandoned logging track with no public transport.  This was years before the internet, Google Earth and easy access to good maps.

By 2005 the cave was becoming well known and during the Philippine Speleological Society Inc (PSSI) 5th Annual Congress held in Duba (17.835274° 121.931650°) the cave was visited as day excusion.  Prior to the Congress in January 2004 members of Gaia Exploration Club with support from Sierra Madre Outdoor Club and Sang-at Sang Outdoor Clob mapped the entrance series for 500m which was drawn up by G-third Atanque.  After the Congress the Bristol Exploration Club visited the cave for a number of days but where thwarted from extensive caving by the PNP and succumbed to the alternatives of Ginebra and Tanduay.  None the less a pitch was climbed and a way on established.

No serious exploration of the cave took place between then and a further BEC trip in 2014 when a team of 7 explored and mapped 2km of the cave.  The team was stopped at a third pitch but the passage continued large at 10m wide and 50m high.

Ancis and SMOC has continued to be instrumental in the exploration of the cave and has been a driving force behind working with then Vice Mayor Leonardo Pattung to get the cave surveyed.

Trips

Bluewater Resurgence – 20/04, Lucy Greenwood, Stu Gardiner, Laura Benn, Olly Legg

Revisited cave pushed in 2014. Caved until beyond first pitch, continued upstream some way. Some unsurveyed passage found in higher level route beyond gour pools and cave pearls, continues some way into muddy passage. No survey equipment so will need revisiting. Photos taken in many locations of aesthetic note along the way.

 

 


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).

 


Headless Chicken

Length

232m surveyed plus ~60m+ unsurveyed

Vertical Range

35m surveyed plus ~15m unsurveyed

Latitude

18 1'13.35 N

Longitude

122 2'12.72 E 

Alternative Name

Martha

BlueWater sink

Approach

The entrance is easily located by finding the river in the valley and folowing it until it sinks into a canyon at a pitch.

Entrance Description

A 9m pitch drops immediately into a canyon which is followed in water, often swimming, for 39m to the head of another pitch.

Description

Blue Water Sink swallows a major river and is aqueous in nature.  The initial part of the cave is actually a canyon until after a couple of hundred meters and two pitches it goes underground proper.  Once undederground the river goes around a couple of bends and then drops a ~10m pitch into a large deep pool of water.  The main water flow goes into a low passage which was not followed as it was deemed too dangerous as it might sump.  However over the top of this passage the main passage continues approx 10m wide and 40m high as far as you can see.  The route on is clearly possible if we bolted over the top.  

Tackle

1st pitch - 9m (15m rope)
2nd pitch - 10m (18m rope) Best to rig this on the left hand side looking down.
3rd pitch - handline to top of pitch and then ~10m rope to pool

Prospects

Passage is large and wide open at the end but requires a long, maybe 15m, bolted traverse to reach the other side.

Team

Rob Adams, Paul Fairman, Stuart Gardiner, Lucy Greenwood, Oliver Legg, Ranger, Henry Bennett

Trips 

Bluewater Sink (Rob Adams, Paul Fairman, Stuart Gardiner, Lucy Greenwood, Oliver Legg, Ranger)

Walked to the first pitch, which we’d visited yesterday. Lucy spotted some local wildlife guarding the pitch – a man-eating python (ed: possibly hyperbole)! The first pitch was still in the open air, in the river. We geared up just out the river, and Rob rigged the first pitch (~10m, dropping straight into a pool). Swimming out of the window in chamber back in to main streamway. Downstream Rob rigged the next pitch (~20m) down a waterfall into another large pool. At this point our surveying was hampered as the PDA decided to stop working. As we prepared to switch to the manual gear we discovered we’d left the measuring tape behind. Luckily some bright spark realized that we could use the disto and record the measurements manually in the log book.

With everyone down the second pitch, swimming out of the pool, down a short waterfall into another pool. And then clambering over a large pile of rotting trees. We’d finally reached the cave entrance proper. More rotting unstable trees to clamber over. 

Here we reached a ledge over looking where the water rushed in below. It flowed vigerously underneath a rock bridge, sumping. Rob rigged the climb down (~4m). On top of the rock bridge we looked onto the next section. It didn’t look good. From what we could see using the big lights, it looked like it just sumped in a large pool at the bottom (~15 – 20m). We decided to go and have a quick look anyway, and Rob rigged it and then volunteered to go and have look.

The slope went down at 45 degrees for ~5m then became overhanging for the remaining ~10m. Looking behind the large calcite flow coming from the right it was possible to see a tunnel leading off with about 4’ of airspace.

 Blue Water Sink Return – Rob Adams, Henry Bennett, Olly Legg, Paul Fairman

Re-surveyed from entrance to top of 60ft waterfall we carried on to top of last pitch from previous visit. Sent Olly down to check out flowing passage. It seems to sump but Olly stayed on the rope. Consentious of opion to de-rig as it’s 40ft of bolting traverse across to see if it continues on.

Route out taking photos & trying not to drown beneath 60ft waterfall which was higher than before.

4hrs underground

Photos

 

bluewatersink pitch2

view of second pitch from the bottom

bluewatersink pitch2 lookdown

looking down from top of pitch two

bluewatersink entrance

view just inside the cave proper looking out


Noodle Doodle

Length

1349m + 700m of lost data

Vertical Range

86m

Latitude

18 0'48.40 N

Longitude

122 2'16.40 E 

Alternative Name

none nut Lumio also drops into Romeo

 

Romeo small

Approach

The other side of the road from our camp an obvious stream enters a cave.  Simply follow the stream for 90m.

Entrance Description

 

Description

 

Tackle

 

Prospects

 

Team

Trips 

Romeo Cave (Ruth Allan, Laura Benn, Hellie Brooke, Rich Smith) Explored 50m of c. 5m wide passage to an 8m pitch, dodging birds, large toads in addition to the usual wildlife. Rigged the pitch with three hand bolts and a natural (several issues with tackle so this took a lot of time). Discovered the pitch was a large calcite mass (very pretty). Took some photos. The pitch chamber led into a large void which dropped 17m to a water; beyond was a rock bridge with another pitch beyond. Surveyed 73m total.

 Romeos Hole – Friday 17th April (Rufus Allan, Rich Smith, Hellie Brooke, Rob Adams, Laura Benn, Ranger)

After an unsuccessful day the previous day, we went back to Romeos Hole to explore the cave passage we had left due to not having enough equipment. Hellie started off by drilling and rigging the pitch which consisted of an approximate 8 meter pitch, then a traverse around a pool and then a further 4 meter pitch into a pool. The pitch had some nasty rub points and some off the rock had a habbit of dropping off the wall when we weren’t expecting it. The cave continued on after the pitches with walking passage but very few side passages and lots of bats and swifts. However, the cave soon came to what we thought was a dead end but after moving a few logs we found a duck. Rufus braved the duck first and found that the walking passage continued again much to our excitement. The passage continued though a well decorated area, with all of it walking but intermixed with a few short free climbable pitches. There were also a few side passages along the way we noted down to be explored at a later date.  After running out of time and an impeding call out approaching we returned back to camp after competing 90 survey points that day. We ended the day at some deep gour pools with continuing passage ahead.

 Romeo Hole (Robert Adams, Helen Brooke, Rich Smith, Ruth Allan)

Went back to the end of our lead at 1/100 and went around 25 meters and found a pitch that is 9 meters and another drop can be seen beyond that. So with no rope left in camp we headed backwards towards the surface and hellie took some pictures on route we met up with other at the bottom of the pitches. Although not a lot was  done we still have a good leed to return to.

Romeo Day 4 Ruth Allan, Stu Gardiner, Lucy Greenwood, Rich Smith –

returned to push into the large void we saw beyond the pitch that had stopped us the day before. Hellie and Rob lent us their drill (thanks) so we could spend more time exploring rather than hand bolting. Stu rigged the pitch whilst the other three surveyed the short distance since the end of the previous survey.

The pitch was dropped and we were wowed by the sheer size of the chamber – but hopes of massive ongoing passage were soon dashed as Lucy realized it was a geological rift. Stu named it Helm’s Deep. It is quite impressively high and intimidatingly dark and jagged with two huge pillars. Rich had his work cut out doing book and thought it a bit of a baptism of fire.

There appeared to be only one exit from Helm’s Deep. This is past some flowstone into a much smaller passage. However, it had an enormous draught. This led to a tricky muddy climb which we handlined with polyprop rope and then eventually to another pitch.

We decided to cut the 50m rope rigged on the pitch into Helm’s Deep to rig this pitch and descended to a large and pretty lake chamber with a high aven above. It had a small gour pool in one corner like a pulpit and fantastic acoustics so we named it the Cathedral. Rufus swam the lake to find that beyond was another pitch, estimated at 12m which we didn’t have time to rig.

Romeo’s Hole – 18th (Stu Gardiner, Lucy Greenwood, Laura Benn, Steven Fairman)

After a successful trip on the 17th, our group returned to explore leads off of the main passage that were not looked into the day before. After descending the second pitch, a higher level passage in the opposite direction to the main passage was explored. The passage soon lowered into a large section of dry gour pools and stalactites, eventually closing down after a low wide crawl. Returning to the main passage, we followed the main passage to a fork past the duck, consisting of two passages of good size. Following the unexplored, the passage became smaller with large amounts of washed debris. A fork lead to a wet passage on the left and a climb over a calcite flow to a higher level chamber. The wet passage was followed, leading into a lake with sump and a passage across on the left. This was followed to two small passages. Both lead back to the main route, with one consisting of a canal with sumps leading to the stream sink discovered the day before, the other ending in a crawl through a wood pile leading back to the start of the main divergence. Several photos were taken en route back to the entrance.

2015-04-20 Romeo’s Hole Robert Adams, Hellie Brooke

Entered the cave planning to tick off the 11 QM’s left on the way to the end of the main way on in Romeo’s Hole. The first task was to look down a 74m low passage starting at the end of the 2nd pitch. Crawling on beyond the final survey station in a wide gravel bedding plane the passage opened up to show a large rock. Around the left of this the passage increased in height further to standing height.

An area of spelotherms to the left gave access to a large rift chamber well decorated with flow stone. The main way on lowered back to crawling size before opening back up to another cross rift chocked at both ends with calcite. However, ducking under at ground level on the right hand side gave access to a tight tube which continued to a low bedding chamber with sand and gravel beaches.

Crawling over the beach gave access to yet another calcite chamber with a small hole that provided access to a calcited rift. A wedged log was moved to gain access to the final chamber / cross passage which was blocked with clean washed pebbles at either end adding over 400m to the finished side passage!

Romeo cave- Hellie Brooke and Rob Adams

We went back to look at side passages and it was very quik as Hellie sliped and banged her hip. So turn around and spent the afternoon having a picnic with laura.

21/04

Romeo Cave – Steven Fairman, Mitchell Bruce, Henry and Hannah Bennett

Went for a simple photography trip taking pictures along the way and down the second pitch, from there Steven and Mitch carried along down the second pitch past the re-belays and into the bottom chamber from there they had a quick look round then headed up to join Hannah and Henry at the entrance.

Romeo cave. Hellie Brooke. Ruth Allan. Mitchell Bruce 

We started off by checking a passage that was previously looked at but not surveyed it looked promising but after approx 100m it craped out in mud with a few small stall, the second lead that we looked at had already been looked at but not surveyed it started in the pool where the second pitch ended not a big passage crawling most of the way with one duck but also ended with a tight climb, are last lead was a climb to some top passage, when at the top we came to what would be another pitch but will need rigging.

 Romeo – Hellie, Mitch, Rich, Rufus and Steven

In need of a simpler day a photography trip was on giving Hellie a chance to play with her new toys, following the usual faffiness of the expedition so far we stumbled into Romeo and began taking photos from the top of the first pitch after each member got a chance to have their moment to shine. The next plan was for a large photo from the bottom of the second pitch to the top feature Rich, Rufus, Mitch after various attempts the final photo came out really well. From there a series of other photos were taking each of us taking turns being the model slash photo-monkey. We eventually arrived at are intended destination the duck where after a rigged game of rock paper scissors between Steven, Rich and Rufus, Steven was tasked with going through the duck to hold the flash on the other side after multiple photos we were all happy and Mitch had a photo to show off to people when he got back home, From there we headed back to the second picture and began to plan another photo this time Rich was at the top of the pitch and had another photo taken this time giving him a chance to look sexy tiger, From there we left and headed back out after a satisfied photography trip.

Photos

romeo entrance

The entrance to Romeo

remeo pitch 1

Pitch 1

remeo pitch 1 mitch

Mitch on his way up pitch 1

romeo under pitch 2

Beneath the 2nd pitch

romeo passage

Romeo passageway


Rum Doodle

Length

 265m

Vertical Range

 35m

Latitude

 18 0'44.05 N

Longitude

122 2'15.62 E 

Alternative Name

S1 

 

Length

Vertical Range

Latitude

Longitude

Alternative Name

Approach

Entrance Description

Description

Tackle

Prospects

Team

C1 

C1 (Henry Bennett, Steven Fairman, Henry Dawson, Romeo) Went CAVE NAME NEEDED

Descending down into a gorge on a ladder into a wide entrance cave, following the passage over boulders and dodging bats along the way. We eventually got to a split one direction leading to a water filled duck and the other direction towards the sound of running water. Following the water eventually finding a sump at the bottom of the stream, doubling back we returned to the junction to dig out the duck allowing the water to drain. After scrambling over a shifty looking boulder climb and through a muddy passage over small pools of water we discovered a pitch that lead down into the streamway.

C1 (Seen Them All) Henry D (diary), Steve Fairman, Stuart Gardener, Lucy Greenwood

Returned to resurvey data collected using book and instruments the day before. (GPS for entrance for C1 Seen Them All is 51 Q 0398045 UTM 1992731 Elevation 439m 707m from camp C1 turnoff from road is 51Q 0397989 UTM 1991390 Elevation 457m 698m from camp. ). Henry D on Book with 1st Lucy on Distox and then Steve. Surveyed approx.. 280m. This included entrance tag on step back from pitch where more satellites could be obtained. 10m ladder just about gets you down the pitch. Stu and Steve went off to drop the pitch. This was not successful as Stu didn’t like the look of 2 large pieces of rock above the pitch head. There is good potential for a traverse on the left wall above head height as you stand at the top of the pitch. This would be possible with hand bolting gear only if you had skyhooks, otherwise it has to be done with the drill. This was in Romeo Cave so unavailable. Stu and Steve returned and without much else to do they very enthusiastically pushed all potential leads finding about 150m of tiny scrofulous passage requiring the removal of helmets and bolting hammer action to remove troublesome obstructions. Henry took one look at the two mud plastered and battered explorers when they came out and decided to mark the route as a question mark. Stu made an artist’s impression of the passage, trending towards the surface I the exped. paper diary. We took a few photos

 

C1 –Paul and Steven Fairman

After finally managing to acquire a rope after a week long wait the final pitch in C1 cave was to be rigged. After a mixture of faffing and recovering from a late night we finally set out to C1 being joined by both Henry , Hellie and Rufus and Rich to the entrance of the cave. Going through the cave and up the sketchy climb which seemed to have deteriorated even more. We reached the pitch and after some time surveying the rig the drill was pulled out with the drill and the help of the only hammer in the village. The muddy pitch was rigged and down the pitch we went when we got to the bottom we discovered that the chamber lead to a sump and was full of a muddy slope clambering up the slope from below. From there a miniature photo trip began taking photos of the chamber of the whole passage as the bats above vigorously flew pictures continued up the pitch.

 

C1 – Henry D, Paul and Ollie. 

Returned to drop down the pitch. This enters a large section of passage with a muddy bank and streamway which sumps quickly. We surveyed this and exited after agreeing my vote that Ollie would have to wash the very muddy rope. 

 


Jungle Cave

Length

 265m

Vertical Range

 35m

Latitude

 18 0'44.05 N

Longitude

122 2'15.62 E 

Alternative Name

S1 

 

Length Short

Vertical Range 5m

Latitude 18.008406°

Longitude 122.036501°

Alternative Name None

Approach

From the jump off point on the road C2 is a short cave entrance in the hillside close to the road.  

Entrance Description

Approximately a 2m by 2m hole.

Description

Steeply descending hole to nothing. This was a short blind hole which stops whilst still inside of daylight

Tackle

none

Prospects

none

Team

Henry D, Paul and Ollie


Pigsty Cave

Length

 265m

Vertical Range

 35m

Latitude

 18 0'44.05 N

Longitude

122 2'15.62 E 

Alternative Name

S1 

Length  Short

Vertical Range 5m

Latitude 18.008406°

Longitude 122.036501°

Alternative Name None

Minichasma

Approach

From the jump off point on the road C2 is a short cave entrance in the hillside close to the road.  

Entrance Description

Approximately a 2m by 2m hole.

Description

Steeply descending hole to nothing. This was a short blind hole which stops whilst still inside of daylight

Tackle

none

Prospects

none

Team

Henry D, Paul and Ollie


Path Cave

Length

 265m

Vertical Range

 35m

Latitude

 18 0'44.05 N

Longitude

122 2'15.62 E 

Alternative Name

S1 

 

Length

Vertical Range

Latitude

Longitude

Alternative Name

Approach

Entrance Description

Description

Tackle

Prospects

Team

 

After looking at this we met Peo who had a local with him as well as Romeo (local). He told me there was a bigger entrance about 100m away. Henry went to take a look and found C3 (Megachasma) about 75-100m from the road. A large doline with an exposed climb down but with good handholds (some are loose rock, climb with care and OK without a handline. This achieves a streambed which quickly turns into much smaller passage and after a couple of freeclimbs gets to a pitch about 50m with another 20m (ish) afterwards. Very Yorkshire in style with short drop, step, short drop. 1st survey station is on the face of a step as you drop down into the doline. Location 51 Q 0398091 UTM 1991414 elevation 451m 657m from camp. Labelled Cday2ENT3 on John Kitching’s GPS. 

 

Minichasma (was Megachasma but then I saw the Helicopter Doline so renamed it Minichasma) – Henry D, Stu, Lucy, Laura, Steve

Henry B also found this hole on a prospecting trip and this led to some long and confusing conversations about streams, holes, etc. to work out if both Henry’s had found the same hole. It tuned out they had, much to Henry B’s chagrin as he was the second to find it (pause for smug moment for Henry D). Dropped 10m ladder down waterfall that had stopped flowing this continued as a short and slippery climb to the doline bottom. Here a dry streamway was gained. This quickly reduced in size to a Yorkshire style pothole. A couple of short freeclimbs quickly reach the top of a pitch. Henry D taught Laura how to hand bolt putting in 2 spits at the top after a thread and then another on the first landing before completing around a 25m pitch with a rope protector over the last landing. Leaving Henry D and Laura to it Steve and Stucy went off to push a duck in C1 next door. They never returned and so the rest of the exploration was left to Henry and Laura. The passage rapidly turns into a small network of flat out crawls with muddy floors. Laura became quite enthused by the muddy wallowing and shot off in every direction finding more and more tiny flat out crawling passages leading to lots of grumbling from Henry as he had to invert himself to get survey shots and draw the maze. Most of the maze turned out to be dry stream passages formed around blocks in what was a chamber. The upstream was followed to a short freeclimb entering a boulder choke (not pushed). On the way back down the climb a large section of rock came off on Laura, who just shrugged and threw it to the bottom of the climb (seriously this was rather impressive!). The downstream stuff is unpushed but not very inspiring. 

 


Minor Sites

Length

 265m

Vertical Range

 35m

Latitude

 18 0'44.05 N

Longitude

122 2'15.62 E 

Alternative Name

S1 

 

area 51

Approach

Entrance Description

Dry stream bed leads straight into a 5m pitch.

Description

Passage went back under the pitch, down two pitches (free-climbs) to a second pitch of 14m. Passage continues round to a large chamber half-full of mud. An aven above the mud continued for another 6m. The main route decreases in size and is full of stones. There is a side passage on the right which is also full of mud and stones after about 10m.

Tackle

1st pitch: 5m rope + sling for natural

2nd pitch: y-hang off natural and spit bolt on the left.

Prospects

Cave ends in a too tight constriction in the stream way

Team

Paul Fairman, Hannah Bennett, Henry Bennett, Rob Bruce, Mitch Bruce

Trips

2015-04-17 one visit

S1 (Follow Stream 1) Henry  B (duiary), Rob Bruce, Mitch Bruce, Paul Fairman, Hannah Bennett, surface team DJ, Arvin Quinto.

After a certain amount of faffing we departed camp at 13:30 with the plan to visit the streams seen between camp and C1 along the road.  Just beyond Romeo’s cave the road rises and in the following dip we jumped off the road to the north (left) and followed a stream for about 400m.  To begin with the was water flowing in the stream (low flow rate – maybe 1 or 2 litres per second). After about 250m the we left the stream to shortcut across a clearing.  When we cut though the bush back to the stream the water had disappeared.  We followed the now dry stream bed which dropped down a couple of dry climbs and entered a small doline with a cave entrance which went immediately to a short climb.

Rob Bruce went to find a GPS signal and Henry cut into the next doline which looked like it had another cave in it.  This turned out to be bolder choked.  Rob eventually got a GPS reading on the dry streamway about 50m from the entrance and Henry and Rob surveyed back to the entrance. 

The entrance pitch had been rigged by Paul using a short section of 7mm rope off a tape around a natural and was about 7m. A small chamber approx. 6m round at the bottom had three ways off.  Two were high level dry and muddy. Rob and Henry surveyed the right hand (looking from the pitch) passage first which quickly became quite complex with one end going back to the surface but blocked by a boulder and the other end going to an eyehole through which you can see the top of the pitch.  As well as the usual whip scorpions and crickets there was also a 6 inch tarantula with a massive brood of eggs/baby spiders underneath it sitting on the wall.  Being environmentally minded we didn’t get too close to find out.

The other high level passage went to a t junction with the left hand side going into a small crawlway which we followed until it got too tight but could likely be forced if enthusiastic.  The other was joined back in with the main active passage.

The main route out of the first chamber followed down a dry but clearly active stream way in the rainy season.  After a couple of easy climbs a pitch was met which Paul had rigged with a couple of naturals and a bolt.  This was aprox 12m deep and landed in a promising bit of passage.  This was followed around a corner and down a small calcite climb into a much bigger chamber with large mud banks on either side of the streambed.  To the rights a climb up the mud bank and into a small side chamber with a large aven.

Back at the stream bed the streamway exited the chamber and after a short distance the floor met the ceiling.  A very narrow gap could be seen contining but was only about 3 inches high.  There was also a small passage which went off to the right near the mud chamber which was followed until a large spider was met and it closed down.

The area below the pitch was surveyed by Henry and Paul while the others waited under the first pitch.  We exited in the dark and returned to camp happy. 

Photos

area51 pitch 2

Second pitch

area 51 near end

Chamber right before the crawlways at the end (where it got too tight)


White Lightning

Length

 265m

Vertical Range

 35m

Latitude

 18 0'44.05 N

Longitude

122 2'15.62 E 

Alternative Name

S1 

Location

 

Length

Vertical Range

Latitude

Longitude

Alternative Name

Approach

Entrance Description

Description

Tackle

Prospects

Team

Minty Hole / White Lightening – Paul Fairman, Ruth Allan, Rich Smith

An approximately 20 mins walk along the road and then a 30 mins walk along a streamway through the jungle resulted in a large cave at the end. Pio had told us about the hole a couple of days before and seen by Hellie and Rob on a prospecting trip, although not dropped. Rigging involved using some trees as naturals and a very large log on its side (approx. 8 meters long). The entrance pitch was very slippery and green and full of rub points. I was dubious about Paul’s rigging off the tree on its side, but I thought if it can hold his weight then hey it should hold my weight and luckily it did. The cave continued via another pitch approx. 12 meters and then by a further pitch about 4 meters. The 

 

 

 


Pio

Length

86m + approx 400m+ unsurveyed

Vertical Range

10m + ~60m unsurveyed

Latitude

18 1'46.04 N (visual estimate from Google Earth)

Longitude

122 1'45.80 E visual estimate from Google Earth)

Alternative Name

 Juness

pio pot

Location

 

 

Approach

Entrance Description

Description

Tackle

Prospects

The cave was left at a 40m+ pitch into a very large passage which we expect to be Blue Water.

Team

Hannah Bennett, Henry Bennett, Rob Bruce

Trips

Pio’s Pot – HenryB, Hannah, Rob Bruce 22/04/15

After realizing that the cave we had planned to do was actually the same one as the one Dawson was planning for, we chose to investigate a nearby cave which Pio was talking about.  Just past the turn off for BlueWater sink on the other side of the road a side logging track goes past a quarry and was followed for another 400ish meters to a jump off point.  Pio ferried us there one by one.  Hannah fell off twice and Henry once.

The cave was supposed to be walking, well decorated and dry and turned out to be mainly wet and stooping height with lots of stall to snag your back.  Hannah and Rob surveyed while Henry went to rig a pitch at around 100m.  We were joined by Ranger and DJ who waited at the pitch.  Henry placed a bolt in good rock by which time Hannah had completed the survey and rigged the first section of the pitch.

Descending 10 feet to a large ledge a second bolt was placed but sunk into a layer of calcite when hammered home.  Hannah came down the pitch to give a second opinion and agreed that the best wall for a bolt didn’t have a good  site.  The opposite wall was investigated and left for another day.


Naganakan

Length

6132m (+400m unsurveyed)

Vertical Range

146m

Latitude

18. 1’15.52

Longitude

121.59’53.82

Alternative Name

Naganakan

Approach

From the Blue Water sitio the entrance to the cave is signposted.  Since the

Entrance Description

The river flows out the large entrance into a sizeable pool.  Access is via the right hand side and then climbing up a couple of meters to the stream floor.  The area is now popular with tourists who pay a modest fee to visit the site.

Description

Blue Water Cave is a

Tackle

Prospects

Team

History

The cave was first reported to the caving community by Olympio Muñoz during the late 80’s / early 90’s while overseeing logging activities in the area.  During the Speleo Philippines 1995 expedition it was bought to our attention but back then it was considered extremely difficult to get to.  The only access was via an old abandoned logging track with no public transport. 

By 2005 the cave was becoming well known and during the Philippine Speleological Society Inc (PSSI) 5th Annual Congress held in Duba (17.835274° 121.931650°) the cave was visited as day excusion.  Prior to the Congress in January 2004 members of Gaia Exploration Club with support from Sierra Madre Outdoor Club and Sang-at Sang Outdoor Clob mapped the entrance series for 500m which was drawn up by G-third Atanque.  After the Congress the Bristol Exploration Club visited the cave for a number of days but where thwarted from extensive caving by the PNP and succumbed to the alternatives of Ginebra and Tanduay.  None the less a pitch was climbed and a way on established.

No serious exploration of the cave took place between then a further BEC trip in 2014 when a team of 7 explored and mapped 2km of the cave.  The team was stopped at a third pitch but the passage continued large at 10m wide and 50m high.

Bluewater Resurgence – 20/04, Lucy Greenwood, Stu Gardiner, Laura Benn, Olly Legg

Revisited cave pushed in 2014. Caved until beyond first pitch, continued upstream some way. Some unsurveyed passage found in higher level route beyond gour pools and cave pearls, continues some way into muddy passage. No survey equipment so will need revisiting. Photos taken in many locations of aesthetic note along the way.

 Photos

 NaganakanGE

 

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