Oxford University Cave Club

2002 Yunnan Expedition Reports


Yunnan Expedition news

Other Expedition reports

OUCC Home Page


From Hilary Greaves, 10/9/2002.

The mountain range west of Zhongdian that corresponds to our big resurgence (see update 04/09/02) proved to be stunningly Picos-like, in terms of the pure limestone and general scenery. If you hold your breath (so's you wouldn't expect to be taking in any oxygen anyway, that is) you can almost imagine yourself at Top Camp. Except that it has many more vertical cliffs, and that extends God knows how far in every direction in the same vein... and that we haven't found many high-altitude cave entrances there... yet?? (Beardy found one, but had no torch so we don't know how far it goes.) There are definitely caves in thum thar hills though, entrances or nay - vast would-be "drainage bowls" almost entirely dry on the surface, after a heavy night's rain. We may well look at different parts of the same mountain range before the end of expedition.

In the meantime we're checking out other areas. Gavin and Beardy are still quite close to Zhongdian. The last Rich & I heard from them (by SMS), they'd had a look at some areas east of Zhongdian that had proved difficult to access, and were heading towards Haba Xueshan. That's a 5400m mountain next to Tiger Leaping Gorge (~1900m altitude). Gavin, Erin and I looked at its south side (from the gorge) and east side (walked up it) very briefly last year, and saw nothing exciting, but Erin's geo map reckons only the west side of the peak is limestone, so maybe more exciting...

Rich and I came here to Liuku in the Nu Jiang gorge yesterday (the westernmost of the 3 rivers cutting through NW Yunnan). We came here with Liu Hong, who's fixed us up with the local tourism authority. So far we haven't got onto the tops, but we've seen plenty of medium sized resurgences at river level. We have a multi-day expedition to be shown high-level known cave entrances on the cards. That was going to start tomorrow, but rain is forecast, so our mentors have postponed the trip (and we're planning a stealth mission to hunt down more of the area's resurgences).

- Hil