February - 2019

New passages in the eastern extension to Creedence, Clearwater Cave - photo Nicky Bayley

Mid expedition and the expansion of the Clearwater system is slower than expected. Key leads from 2014 have not yet produced the hoped-for route north to Whiterock Cave. Although there are still many leads to look at, the small team and very difficult 6 hour walk in to the cave make exploration more difficult than expected. However, some three kilometres have been added to the ‘Creedence’ high level, and the team is following several interesting draughting leads which may yet unlock the secrets of the high levels of the system.

There have been only occasional communications with the team operating in the Hidden Valley, but here it is understood exploration is proceeding much more quickly with major gains in the Wonder Cave and Conviction Cave system. Full details are still awaited.

In the limestone peninsula of Southern Api, the connection of the Lagangs/Racer/Easter caves is closer but still not made. A connection with Cave of the Winds (to bring all these caves in to the Clearwater System) has also inched closer with the discovery of a 100m diameter chamber to the south of the Cave of the Winds river, bringing Clearwater very close to Racer Cave. The final connection still remains elusive, however.