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2002 Yunnan Expedition Reports


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From Hilary Greaves, 4/9/2002.

Beardy and I just got back to Zhongdian. The route to Weixi passed through nowt but shite, but then we came back to the Yangtze and started following it north, past the area t'other 2 have gone to. We were off bus routes most of the way but had no problems hitching. Yesterday evening we found ourselves staring into the biggest resurgence I've ever seen (that doesn't amount to much competition, but it was pretty big - I'd *guess* 3 or 4 times the flow rate in upstream 2/7) about 50m above the level of the Yangtze. A walk-in cave via a fossil resurgence that (we're told) soon connects to the active streamway. The guy we hitched there with told us it was waist deep water shortly beyond the entrance and half a day to the end of the cave; we couldn't get out of him what the end was like, sump, aven etc. We went in a little way, but with a fading Zipka and nowt else in the way of caving equipment, we decided a full-on trip would be foolhardy and dangerous. The Yangtze gorge was big limestone cliffs on both sides for about 5km before the resurgence and at least 20km afterwards; we didn't see any other resurgences, but we just rode past in a truck, didn't poke our noses up any of the valleys to see where their water came from. In some places the limestone goes right down to river level and we get the impression that pretty much anything welling up underwater would be utterly undetectable (our big resurgence managed to make a clear patch about 2m diameter in a particularly shallow place, before it got churned up with the silty water of the main Yangtze).

Mountain summits in the proximity? Between 7000 and 8000 feet above the resurgence's altitude.

Haven't seen the other 2 yet. The last couple of days they've been trying to get up onto the mountain tops that correspond to our resurgence, but I think finding it a bit of a mission.


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- hil