The Mulu Caves 2011 Expedition, which will be in the field for six weeks from mid February, has gained the useful support of several major companies with the loan or donation of much needed equipment and materiel.
Leica Geosystems UK has come forward with the generous donation of a quantity of handheld laser distometers, notably its advanced D8 model and the compact DXT unit. The adoption of laser distometers for cave surveying has proved a boon in Mulu’s great cave passages, allowing much faster and more accurate surveying, and thus more exploratory ground to be covered. However, the equipment is expensive for individuals, so the supply of ten distos by Leica will be of immeasurable use to the expedition – well, measurable, actually! The D8 model includes a clinometer function making each station reading even faster, and the DXT is the first ruggedised disto to be manufactured by Leica and will be tested in Mulu.
Makita (UK) Ltd. is kindly providing the expedition with three Makita BHR162RFE cordless drills, batteries and chargers. These will be of great assistance on several bolting and climbing projects which are earmarked by the expedition, and the drills are small and light enough to be carried by regular exploratory teams for occasional bolt placement of fixed ropes or pitches as encountered during exploration. Makita are also supplying a quantity of their new Nemesis drill bits which are more durable and faster in performance, qualities which will be much appreciated by anyone who has ever hand placed a bolt in the notoriously hard Melinau limestone!
SealSkinz Ltd., the Norfolk based manufacturer of waterproof outdoor clothing, has continued its support of recent expeditions with the provision of waterproof socks to expedition members. These are invaluable items for the Mulu explorer where foot care is of ultimate importance in the avoidance of the dreaded ‘Mulu Foot’, an extremely painful epidermal condition of the foot which easily disables the caver for days at a time. Keeping feet as dry and clean as possible is the only known prevention of Mulu Foot, and SealSkinz waterproof socks are the first line of defence against this debilitating ailment.
The Expedition is grateful to all three sponsors for their support, and for their interest in the objectives of the Mulu Caves Project.
Swiss adventure lighting company Scurion have loaned the expedition six of their top-of-the-range Scurion 1300 caving lamps. With an incredible 1300 lumens of light available, these will surely be a great asset for the significant work which is planned in Sarawak Chamber, the world’s largest natural underground chamber.
And Buffera Ltd. the distributors of the ever popular Buff tubular headwear have provided each expedition member with two of their original Buffs. It might seem strange to be taking extra headwear to Mulu, with its high temperatures and humidity! But in fact these versatile garments are just the thing for the caver’s sweating brow!
Thanks to these two latest sponsors for their support, too!
Big thanks to Meggaflash in Co. Clare (Ireland) for their generous support with our ambitious project of photographing the world’s largest natural underground cavity, Sarawak Chamber, by donating four boxes of the PF300 slow peak flashbulbs. Robbie has used these bulbs before all over the world, and in one word sums up their performance, ‘amazing!’ Photographing the chamber should be an illuminating experience!