February - 2019
bolting an aven in Deliverance Cave

Aven climbing in Deliverance Cave | photo: Jeff Wade

The 2013 Expedition returned from Mulu at the beginning of November having followed a large number of exploration leads in Whiterock Cave, as well as focusing on pushing south in Deliverance cave in Benarat mountain. Gains were not quite what was hoped for, despite persistent effort by a determined and technically proficient team.

The largest gains were in Whiterock Cave where a further 7.9 kilometres of passage were discovered, pushing the Clearwater Cave System to 197.08 kilometres in length, replacing Fisher Ridge system in Kentucky as the world’s 9th longest cave. Many loose ends were tied up from 2011, but just as many loose ends await the next expedition in this fascinating and seemingly endless multi-level cave.

Major efforts in Deliverance cave beneath Gunung Benarat included climbing several tall avens up to 100m in height above the previous limit.  But despite a lot of hard, hot work, the cave refused to go further south any great distance with some 600 metres in length being added to the cave’s total.

The availability of a helicopter for a day allowed most expedition members an unforgettable birds eye view of the forest clad mountains, and several new entrances and features were discerned. Reaching them in this most inhospitable terrain will, of course, be quite another matter.

But as always, these possibilities will draw new teams back for further explorations.

helicopter in Melinau Gorge

View of the Melinau Gorge from the helicopter | photo: Andy Eavis

Read the 2013 Expedition Preliminary Report