Belize 2010 - Bitten by a Bug
by PCW ~, 28 April 2010
By Phil Walker ~ Photos by Brendan Marris ~ Video by Nicky Bayley
During March and April 2010 9 cavers, including 7 SWCC members undertook another
expedition to Belize, Central America.
Building on the work of previous expeditions, exploration continued in the Pueblo
Creek system, pushing the main stream passage down to a large 30m x 60m sump
pool. A large passage leading back from the sump disappointingly turned out
to be an oxbow, rather than another inlet, but some spectacular formations were
discovered, including an impressive pagoda formation. A bypass to the sump remains
elusive. The expected resurgence of the system is from a cave called Ochochpec,
on the other side of the mountain. A day's trip and ultra fast line survey,
using SWCC's new DistoX places the terminal sump in Ochochpec at 390m from the
sump in the Pueblo Creek system.
See Nicky's video of the Expedition Part
Elsewhere in Pueblo Creek an unexplored inlet from the 2008 trip was explored
for another 700m, splitting again along a second inlet, but both routes ending
in sumps, one a possible short free dive, the other a gloomy looking affair.
In addition a rumoured second entrance, bypassing the 15m pitch near the entrance,
was discovered and surveyed. The final total length of Pueblo Creek now stands
at approx. 3.8km.
|Maxine in Pueblo Creek . . . with
Tiger Cave was revisited and on the very first day of the expedition a new
second entrance was discovered, dropping into the 'Roaring River' section of
the cave. High water levels for the duration of the expedition meant the through
trip has still not been completed!
Following up on a lead from the original 1980's explorers of the cave, a pit
on one side of the cave was dropped. The limit of previous exploration was a
pool at the base of the pitch. Not expecting much, at first, the cave surprised
us revealing another 500m of cave along a second streamway. Most leads here
ended in sumps but one very muddy lead ended at a constricted crawl with the
sound of a lot of bats in the distance, possibly signifying another way into
this area of the cave.
Tiger cave has now been explored and surveyed for over 5km, placing it as the
second longest cave in the Toledo district.
|Phil in Tiger Cave
Lagonita cave was explored for a further 500m and a potential new cave was
discovered nearby. "Ramones cave", as it is currently called by the
local guide appears to have had some exploration in the early part of the cave,
but a way on was found that remains unexplored.
A return is tentatively planned for 2012, although this is likely to be in a
different and more remote area, deeper into the jungle.
The 2010 team was:
Phil Walker, Alan Braybrooke, Toby Dryden, Nicky Bayley, Brendan Marris, Clair
Samson, Maxine Bateman, Russ Brooks (BPC) and Rich Hudson (YSS).
SWCC in Belize
now has its own website!