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Batu Nigal and Tiger Cave from Red Leaf Monkey camp

Batu Nigal and Tiger Cave from Red Leaf Monkey camp. (c)Tony White 2012

Train Cave, which is one of the highest caves in Mulu, yielded 4.7km of passage and linked into Bridge Cave, signficantly increasing the vertical range of this system (final figures awaited). The approach to the entrance of Train from the camp in Red Leaf Monkey Cave 1 was apparently fairly epic, passing through an area of pinnacles which necessitated swinging around these sharp blades of limestone and balancing across the tops of ones that had been flattened by nesters. Unfortunately, in contrast to the relative luxury of the RLMC camp, the local nesters have established an underground camp in Train, which is a complete tip. Red Leaf Monkey 1 & 2 yielded about 1km of passage each and the team have now pulled back from this high camp.

In Lagan’s Cave, around 1.5km of passage has been surveyed, off to the side of the show cave lower entrance. These extensions were missed by the original explorers in 1984 (personally guilty!) despite obvious routes through stal, adjacent to what is now the new showcave walkway, which lead through to a large chamber lying on top of a boulder choke. From here a climb down leads to Leopard Passage (named after a bed of rock in the roof which is patterned with oncolites) in which a small river appears and disappears in a series of sumps. From the mud, it’s pretty obvious that the boulder collapse causes ponding back of the river in high water and it seems that the water resurges and becomes the S.Lupar, which crosses the Deer Cave board walk. There are a couple of small leads remaining in this complex but a bright prospect is an entrance to the north and above the Fast Lane entrance to Lagan’s, offering the possibility of a connection to Racer Cave.

Mike Bertenshaw bolting (c) Les Williams 2012

Mike Bertenshaw bolting in Dream Pool Series, Lagan's Cave