Application for Grant Aid

Submitted on: 03 Jul 2015


Expedition details (GPF2015b-001)

Expedition Name (& Club): Mulu Caves 2015
Country: Malaysia
Region: Mulu National Park, Sarawak
Leader: Mr Mark Brown
Lat: 4.13671224 Long: 114.894063 Elevation: 20-1000 m

MEF funding: none
Expedition dates: 1st Oct 2015 - 8th Nov 2015
Duration (days): 39
Man-days in field: 336 Man-days travelling: 126
Brief Expedition objectives:

List a short summary of the main Expedition objectives.

1. A lightweight reconnaissance into the remote “Hidden Valley” to locate, climb into and explore new entrances observed from helicopter video footage.
2. Continuation of the further limits of the Clearwater Cave System.
3. Exploring high on the surface of Gunung Api and Gunung Benarat for new entrances to caves.
4. Further exploration of the Moon Cave/Benarat caverns system.
How can the GPF support your Expedition?:

Please explain the aspects of the trip which make it eligible for Ghar Parau funding.

Clearwater cave now has 206km of surveyed passages from Anglo Malaysian expedtions over the last 30years, making it 8th longest in the world and possibly the largest by volume. There is a real possibility that it can move further up the rankings after the 2015 expedition. Leads from 2014 suggest development on two new high levels that could significantly extend the cave, these may be accessed from the Hidden Valley and Whiterock entrance. Having repeat visits from team members that know the area and the caves is beneficial, as well as new younger members to take over roles in the future. A grant will help keep costs down to encourage both these aspects - the high travel costs in getting to Mulu putting some people off.
Detailed description of objectives:

Give a more detailed account of the purpose of the trip, including any particular known caves you intend to visit, specific areas where you will explore for new cave, and scientific experiments you will attempt.

Exploration, surveying, mapping, photography and geomorphological study of the caves in the mountains Gunung Api and Gunung Benarat, within the Mulu National Park. . Specific objectives:
1. A lightweight reconnaissance expedition into the remote “Hidden Valley” to locate, climb into and explore new entrances observed from helicopter video footage (obtained from a television crew in the area). The large blank area of limestone under Eastern G. Api could be accessed.
2. Continuation of the further limits of the Clearwater Cave System, specifically Whiterock cave, involving remote underground camps and aid climbing to access high level unexplored passages. New high levels were found in 2014 that suggest development much higher than was previously though under G. Api. Numerous leads in including several wide open horizontal passages.
3. Exploring high on the surface of Gunung Api and Gunung Benarat for new entrances to caves, which are suggested from the current geology and hydrology and photos of the area. Possibilities above camp 5 for a northern entrance to Whiterock cave. Entrance on North tip of G. Benarat found in 2013. The \\\"lost\\\" Gawai cave - discovered by Japanese expedition in 1992 needs relocating.
4. Exploration of undescended shafts and climbs in the Moon Cave/Benarat caverns system.
5. Possible 3D laser scanning work in Sarawak chamber, Deer Cave and Api chamber, using higher resolution equipment than previously.
Previous work in this area:

Give details of any previous work in this area by your own and other teams. Include references to reports and articles published on the area, and the names of any local cavers or academics with whom you have discussed the Expedition.

Website mulucaves.org.

Descent 241 and 242 feature articles on the 2013 and 2014 expedition.
2013 Preliminary report sent to GPF previously.

Expedition reports for all previous Mulu expeditions, most recently \\\"Mulucaves 2011 expedition report, edited by Matt Kirkby\\\"

Reports for 2013 and 2014 expeditions nearing completion.
Total UK cavers: 16
Total non UK cavers: 0
Total Cavers: 16
Alex Pitcher nominations: 0

Expedition Finances

Travel

Travel plans:
Flights UK to Kuala lumpur, KUL to Miri in Sarawak. Flight to Mulu NP from Miri. Local boat travel from NP HQ to Camp 5 in the Melinau gorge.


# from UK: 18 Travel costs breakdown (for personnel leaving from the UK):
Total costs from UK: £13,340 International flight £650
Internal flight £70
Boat travel in park £70

# from outside UK: 0 Travel costs breakdown (for personnel leaving from the UK):
Total costs from outside UK: £0 n/a

Travel total: £13,340 Travel p.p. from UK: £741
Travel p.p. from outside UK: £0

Subsistence

Total: £2,000 Comments:
Subsistence p.p.: £111 Food and stores £2000 total (based on 2013 and 2014 costs)

Gear

Total: £1,000 Comments:
Subsistence p.p.: £56 New rope, bolts, rigging gear, drill batteries, portable stoves, gas canisters.

Special 1

Total: £3,000 Comments:
Special 1 p.p.: £167 Local labour - logistics, porters, guides

Special 2

Total: £2,250 Comments:
Special 2 p.p.: £125 Travel Insurance
Exped Total: £21,590 Exped cost p.p. travelling from UK: £1,199
Exped cost p.p. travelling from outside UK: £0
Mean Exped cost per person: £1,199

Other Funding

Total: £0 Comments:
Considering crowdfunding nearer the time. Applying to some airlines for sponsorship.
Total shortfall: £21,590 Mean shortfall per person: £1,199

Referees and Report

Please give the names, addresses and phone numbers of two suitably qualified people whom the Committee can contact. You should ensure that they are aware of the objectives of your trip, and that you have their permission for the Committee to contact them.

Referee 1: Mr Dick Willis
Affiliation: Past Expedition Leader

Reason: Previous leader/coordinator of Mulu/Benerat expeditions. Oversaw planning of 2013 expedition and still heavily involved in the project.

Permission obtained?: Yes
Referee 2: Mr Andy Eavis
Affiliation: Previous leader. Involved in G

Reason: Leader of first Mulu expeditions and Mulu 2012 and 2014. Involved with GPF committee. NB. If it has to be someone who is not on the team I will ask Jeff Wade.

Permission obtained?: Yes

Expedition report author: Mark Brown/Hugh St Lawrence