I began caving with very few books available to read on the subject, four to be exact. The first two were stories that involved Bill Stone, the third was Caves of the Canadian Rockies, and the fourth was the Rats Nest book (Under Grotto Mountain by Chas Yonge).
I arrived through customs at 01:30 after a marathon of airline movies. Met my ride and raced another cab through the streets of Lima (speeds exceeding 150km/hr!), to the hostel we would be using as a base. Andy McKenzie and Adam Haar, arrived the day before, were waiting with beer! We downed a few while catching up until 04:15. So began my Peruvian adventures!
March 22-24, 2010
I travelled from Nanaimo to Calgary, got the sat phone, organized gear, and began my obsessive cutting of weight, knowing I had been "volun-told" to be a bottle carrier. In the end a 45-litre bag held all of my gear. Well, on big trips I go light and fast and understand the commitment. If I get cold, I must move faster. If I carry in a jacket, I sleep in it so I can use a lighter sleeping bag etc.
During Mexpe I was strongly encouraged to go to China for a caving expedition. Once back in Canada, and having dealt with being robbed of most of my possessions (in Canada), I contacted the expedition leader, Imogen Furlong to see if I could join in on the fun. After an email or two, success I was to meet them in China on September 25th at some hostile in Chong Xing.
This trip began as far away as one can get from Mexico, in the frozen cave we call Castleguard. It is here that I met Christian Chenier, and Gael Herve. They had decided to come out and experience this amazing cave as there was a “year off” in the Mexpe expeditions. As cavers do, we all shared caving stories and Christian mentioned what the SQS was doing in Mexico, I was hooked
Something I have been curios about for a while has been the sumps and beyond in the Grotto. Having first ventured into the tourist side in 2006 and seeing the dive line disappear beneath the surface, it always beckoned me.. The survey just would not cut it. I did my research and read all the trip reports, talked to and emailed some of the original explorers of the sumps.