Application for Grant Aid

Submitted on: 27 Feb 2019

Expedition details (GPF2019a-009)

Expedition Name (& Club): Redcoats and Rednecks Tennessee Expedition (BEC, SUSS, WCMS, BPC)
Destination country: United States
Region: Middle Tennessee, Obey Valley
Lat: 36.2644 Long: -85.0407 Elevation: 800 m
MEF funding: none

Leader: Mr. Rostam Namaghi
Total cavers: 24
Cavers ≤25 yrs old: 2
Cavers 25-35 yrs old: 15
UK/nonUK cavers: 22/2
Eligible for grant aid: 0
Alex Pitcher nominations: 0
Expedition dates: 6th Apr 2019 - 28th Apr 2019
Duration (days): 23
Man-days in field: 400 Man-days travelling: 40
Brief Expedition objectives:

List a short summary of the main Expedition objectives.

To continue the mapping of the Mountain Eye cave system (a 3 man mapping team have so far mapped 10Km in 45 man days) and associated cave systems on the south side of the East Obey valley.
How can the GPF support your Expedition?:

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

The grant would be primarily used for transportation whilst out there as multiple vehicles are needed due to the large contingent and large system with multiple entrances. We also have a team of divers (3) who will be chasing 2 leads in the system currently (I expect that this will multiply) and several leads nearby flagged by our friends in the Tennessee Cave Survey. The area is very poorly dived as there aren't many resident divers and the popularity of other locations.

We also plan to produce all the surveys out there, using paperless surveying and working with the existing Therion framework and so any grant money not given to transportation will be used to purchase spare electronics (for disto repair, pda repair) as well as buying printers out there. Hopefully it will not be needed for a breakage budget.
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.

Projects include:
1. Bolt climbing a 50m aven with multiple fossil passages entering above on 4 levels, all likely to be virgin passage and certainly unmapped
2. Connection (and resurvey) of Hyperborean hole (?5Km) to the Mountain Eye system
3. Connection of Zarathrustra to Mountain Eye (25Km) and if successful a team will be sent to connect Xanadu in addition (45Km)
4. Diving the downstream sumps (at least 7 as identified on the survey with multiple leads from the Tennessee Cave Survey)
5. Surveying the 125 open leads identified
6. 'Ridgewalking' (Surface bashing) to find entrances into higher level cave systems.
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.

This area is notoriously poorly surveyed with a previous survey team attempting a survey in 1971 but giving up as the drafting proved too hard, instead listing the cave as 'at least 11 miles long' and 7-9 entrances. Xanadu and Zarathustra cave systems have had much bigger, much more recent survey pushes and the passage density and multiple levels have discouraged any of the current generation of Tennessee Cave Surveyors from touching the this system in the valley as they will never get it done. Instead they try to add to Blue Spring or push for depth records in East Tennessee.

We have contacted the original explorers who unfortunately don't have any of the original data and instead gave a narrative which proved helpful in finding an eastern entrance.

As to an understanding of the local geology, Clinton Elmore has provided much assistance with this project. He has changed karst science opinion on sandstone of the Cumberland Plateau, for which he was made a fellow of the National Speleological Society. He is our expedition geologist and is our American liaison.

Expedition Finances


Travel plans:
Flights from Manchester/London to Nashville, shuttle using rented cars/lent cars

# from UK: 22 Travel costs breakdown (for personnel leaving from the UK):
Total costs from UK: £15,840 600 for flights
120 for rental/fuel

# from outside UK: 0 Travel costs breakdown (for personnel leaving from the UK):
Total costs from outside UK: £0 Not including American personnel in this section as will confuse numbers

Travel total: £15,840 Travel p.p. from UK: £720
Travel p.p. from outside UK: £0


Total: £5,000 Comments:
Subsistence p.p.: £227 Expedition base will be at a local farm, rent to be £2000, food estimated at £5 pppd


Total: £1,000 Comments:
Subsistence p.p.: £45 Borrowing drills, ropes and bolts out there (minimal likely needed)
Estimating 2-300m of rope, 50-100 bolts.

8 distos being borrowed and expedition will be paperless so back up PDAs have been bought, repair expected.

Special 1

Total: £400 Comments:
Special 1 p.p.: £18 Diving Kit transport, refilling of cylinders

Special 2

Total: £4,400 Comments:
Special 2 p.p.: £200 Insurance (per person approx £200)
Exped Total: £26,640 Exped cost p.p. travelling from UK: £1,210
Exped cost p.p. travelling from outside UK: £0
Mean Exped cost per person: £1,210

Other Funding

Total: £0 Comments:
No other grants applied for
Total shortfall: £26,640 Mean shortfall per person: £1,210

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. Tony Seddon
Affiliation: NPC

Reason: Have discussed many things with Tony regarding expeditions over the years, very well known caver, knows me and my track record better than most cavers.

Permission obtained?: Yes
Referee 2: Mr. Les Williams
Affiliation: Wessex

Reason: Blatant power move. Have caved a fair amount with Les and done even more caving bureaucracy with him, both being on BCA for the last 5+ years so he'll give you a good idea of how I operate.

Permission obtained?: Yes

Expedition report author: Rostam Namaghi