Application for Grant Aid

Submitted on: 27 Aug 2015


Expedition details (GPF2015b-004)

Expedition Name (& Club): China Caves- Doshan 2015 (Various)
Destination country: China
Region: Guizhou Province
Lat: 25.8643 Long: 108.7879 Elevation: 1200 m
MEF funding: none

Leader: Mr Mark Richardson
Total cavers: 14
Cavers ≤25 yrs old: 1
Cavers 25-35 yrs old: 10
UK/nonUK cavers: 14/0
Eligible for grant aid: 0
Alex Pitcher nominations: 2
Expedition dates: 14th Nov 2015 - 6th Dec 2015
Duration (days): 23
Man-days in field: 252 Man-days travelling: 42
Brief Expedition objectives:

List a short summary of the main Expedition objectives.

Following up from last year's expedition the team will return to the area and continue with the exploration of several promising leads in this fascinating area.
How can the GPF support your Expedition?:

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

The team is made up primarily of young members including several students, a GPF grant will help to ease the heavy financial burden on the young team.
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.

The expedition wishes to forge stronger links with both the Chinese organisations helping to arrange the transport and logistics Guilin Institute of Karst Science) and the local governments who supported the team in 2014.

The expedition left behind some superb opportunities for further exploration in the main area if interest surrounding Dushan and also in the form of Xiao Shui Dong further to the south.
Most caves that were explored were pushed to a conclusion but where this is not the case, possible leads are described in the body of this report and shown on the surveys. The most notable of these are as follows;

Dao Dong
Dao Dong was explored and surveyed on the final day of the expedition. The major river was found at one location but due to lack of suitable equipment, experience and time it was not explored upstream. Additionally the body of water found at the western end of the cave warrants further exploration, the draught observed on the day leads the expedition to believe that open passage lies beyond. This may prove to be a possible link to the main river just upstream of where it is encountered elsewhere in the cave. Some low mud floored passages to the north of the body of water extend to the furthest western most point within the cave but these were not pushed to a conclusion due to lack of time.

Xiniu/ Titan- Growler in the Mist
Growler in the Mist in the Lasers Leap extensions represents an interesting challenge for future exploration. It is another lead requiring negotiation of a large river and requires at least 2 hours to reach by a fast team who know the route.
Liang Feng Dong (Dapo) and Liang Feng Dong- (Concrete Cave and Triangle Cave)
These caves are of particular interest because of the anecdotal connection between the two. The straight line distance between the two entrances is over 4000m. Both caves were explored towards the end of the expedition when time ran out and both were left ongoing.

Xiao Shui Dong
Although not in the main target area, Xiao Shui Dong is an exciting prospect and will dominate the first week of the expedition. The large dimensions and vertical nature of the cave create an exciting trip to 450m. The strong draught and open passage at the limit of exploration are tantalising. This coupled with the hypothesised depth and horizontal potential of another ~200m vertically and several kilometres horizontally makes it a worth target for the future. There was no other prospecting undertaken in this area, the heavily wooded slopes and valley bottoms are a great contrast to the relatively sparsely vegetated Dushan area and would make searching for new entrances especially difficult.

Luo Shui Dong
Another cave of interest, the entrance of Luo Shui Dong is 693m from the entrance of Liang Feng Dong (Concrete Cave) and the continuing passage and draught make the prospect of a connection an interesting one.

Other New Caves
Aside from the prospects left underground there are undoubtedly excellent opportunities to continue to find surface entrances. Many of those discovered in 2014 are near to roads and tracks but these routes are by no means exhausted. There are large areas of land still left unexplored by cavers within the project area and it is anticipated that many more caves remain waiting to be discovered and explored.
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.

2014 China Caves Project expedition report

British expeditions in 1988 and 1989

Reported in;
Cave Science Vol 20, No.2 Nov 1993
Caves & Caving No.42
Red Dragon No.15

Expedition Finances

Travel

Travel plans:
Fly from the UK to Guiyang and then transport onwards arranged by the Guilin Karst Institute


# from UK: 14 Travel costs breakdown (for personnel leaving from the UK):
Total costs from UK: £16,240 Flights approx. £800 and then £40 / day when in the field.

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

Travel total: £16,240 Travel p.p. from UK: £1,160
Travel p.p. from outside UK: £0

Subsistence

Total: £5,040 Comments:
Subsistence p.p.: £360 Allows £20 / day for food and accommodation

Gear

Total: £1,045 Comments:
Subsistence p.p.: £75 1000m of 9mm rope is required- £1000
300 sleeve anchors- £45
Other equipment will be borrowed in China
Exped Total: £22,325 Exped cost p.p. travelling from UK: £1,595
Exped cost p.p. travelling from outside UK: £0
Mean Exped cost per person: £1,595

Other Funding

Total: £0 Comments:
Total shortfall: £22,325 Mean shortfall per person: £1,595

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 Andy Eavis
Affiliation: BCA

Reason: Andy is aware of the area and familiar with many of the team members.

Permission obtained?: Yes
Referee 2: Ms Erin Lynch
Affiliation: Guilin Institute of Karst Geol

Reason: Erin is involved in the local logistics

Permission obtained?: Yes

Expedition report author: Mark Richardson