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Following the success of the 1990 expedition two members of the ‘Gunung Api Connection’ expedition returned to the Park in 1991 to ‘tidy up some loose ends’.

Alan and Becky Weight returned to the Park during August 1991 with the intention of checking out some leads in Racer Cave. These revealed some minor extensions with some links between previously discovered passages. Although 400m of passages were surveyed nothing of major consequence was revealed.  

 

The Fern Rock entrances| photo © Matt Kirby

Following discussions with local guides a new cave was explored in the cliff face between the Deer Cave bridge and the Paku waterfalls pool. This cave lies in the Deer Cave Massif of the Southern Hills and was named Fern Rock Cave and was to be the most significant find of the expedition. Access was gained via a precarious route up tree roots into a small eyehole overlooking the Paku. This proved to be an extensive cave, providing a route into the heart of the Southern Hills and heading in the general direction of Deer Water Cave. Exploration ended in a wide chamber at the base of a shaft which appeared to be leading into further passages above. 

 

Palm Cave entrance seen from the airport | photo © Matt Kirby

Another entrance was visited, Palm Cave, which could be seen from Batu Bungan Penan settlement. This had been visited previously by locals but the route up to it was far from simple. Penan guides cut a track over steep, loose, pinnacled and heavily vegetated limestone to the entrance which was almost at the highest point on this arm of Api. The 20m wide entrance led into a large well decorated chamber before dipping down a slippery slope to a 10m drop. Owing to the vertical nature of the way on no further exploration took place during this expedition although information was passed to the Mulu Caves ‘91 expedition who took up the challenge. 

Expedition Members

The 1991 Team 

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