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Old    Fat-B (lugwrench)      Join Date: Jul 2002       03-16-2012, 5:30 AM Reply   
My family has been active in caving for well over 50 years and I've been crawling around underground since I've been a kid. The past few years my brothers and I have graduated to vertical caving using ropes for traverses and rappels to explore the more harder to reach cave systems. While I dream of finding something new underground, every cave I've ever been in mostly (KY, AL, and TN) has either been surveyed or at least traveled before. I saw this on Nat Geo the other day and can't believe something this amazing was just recently discovered. It can be like another world underground and thought these pictures highlighted that well.

The first picture is the entrance to Hang Son Doong "Mountain River Cave", it was discovered in 1991 by a local, the reason it stayed unexplored for so long due to the powerful whistling noise it made from the underground river made the locals afraid of it.

It wasn't until 2009 it was made public when a British survey team finally went through it. While it doesn't hold the record for longest or deepest cave system, it does hold the record for largest (cavern size). The largest cavern in it is over 5km long, 200m high and 150m wide.

The second pic shows the other reason it stayed hidden so long, to get to the entrance was a several hundred meter rappel, which when on the top, the entrance all but disappeared into the mountain.

Anyway, enough rambling, here are the pictures.
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Old    Rob Flaherty (mc_x15)      Join Date: Jul 2008       03-16-2012, 7:38 AM Reply   
Unreal. That place is huge, and amazing. What a cool hobby or job or whatever. How do you go about finding new spots? GPS or satellite images? oO is it just hiking in areas where you think there may be caves?

Thanks for sharing.
Old    Wes (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001       03-16-2012, 7:48 AM Reply   
Was there last month - it was amazing.
Old    Fat-B (lugwrench)      Join Date: Jul 2002       03-16-2012, 8:13 AM Reply   
Wes I am unbelievably jealous. How much of the cave did you make it through? I have a lower res picture of where the ceiling collapsed and a mini jungle has formed inside the cave and it looks like something out of a sci fi flick.

Rob, for us it's just a hobby, we are involved with the National Speleological Society but that's to help with cave preservation and also helps with access to systems that are on private land. What we try to do is find or explore new sections of caves. Some systems might be mapped, but some passages unexplored because it appears to end.

There is a cave I do regularly in Kentucky that has a room that appears to dead end. Its fun to explain to the new guy that it's going to be a 100 yard belly crawl with the ceiling scraping your back, and pick a direction you want to turn your head because once you're in there's not enough room to turn it over again. Its a miserable experience for a few minutes but when you pop out on the other side to an underground river and waterfall it's worth it.
Old    Rich (digg311)      Join Date: Sep 2007       03-16-2012, 9:26 AM Reply   
I want to go to there.
Old    Hate N Pain (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       03-16-2012, 12:36 PM Reply   
Thats truly amazing.
Old    Train (ttrigo)      Join Date: Dec 2004       03-16-2012, 2:31 PM Reply   
Thats nuts.
I read a pretty cool book called Beyond the Deep. It was about a "cave" in mexico. Pretty interesting read.
Old    Dave (bcrider)      Join Date: Apr 2006       03-19-2012, 12:38 PM Reply   
That's pretty amazing. Just the shear size of the cave.

The Viet Cong used some of these caves along the rivers to hide out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phong_N..._National_Park
Old    J D (jeff_mn)      Join Date: Jul 2009       03-19-2012, 2:07 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by lugwrench View Post
There is a cave I do regularly in Kentucky that has a room that appears to dead end. Its fun to explain to the new guy that it's going to be a 100 yard belly crawl with the ceiling scraping your back, and pick a direction you want to turn your head because once you're in there's not enough room to turn it over again. Its a miserable experience for a few minutes but when you pop out on the other side to an underground river and waterfall it's worth it.
I got nervous just reading that.
Old    Miguel (migs)      Join Date: Aug 2006       03-19-2012, 3:50 PM Reply   
"There is a cave I do regularly in Kentucky that has a room that appears to dead end. Its fun to explain to the new guy that it's going to be a 100 yard belly crawl with the ceiling scraping your back, and pick a direction you want to turn your head because once you're in there's not enough room to turn it over again. Its a miserable experience for a few minutes but when you pop out on the other side to an underground river and waterfall it's worth it. "

Oh hell no! Reminds of that movie that came out a few years ago(horror flick) where they were going through crazy tight spots like that. Pretty difficult to watch. The mosters who ate them were nothing comparable to the tight squeezes.
Old    Scott R (ScottR)      Join Date: Aug 2011       03-20-2012, 8:20 AM Reply   
I am with Jeff and Miguel..... just reading that made the hairs on my arms stand up. WHOA...... Heebee jeebee's!!!
Old    Fat-B (lugwrench)      Join Date: Jul 2002       03-20-2012, 10:47 AM Reply   
The first few trips like that you really think, wtf am I doing here. But it's the most difficult traveled routes that provide the greatest scenery. The easier routes always get littered with graffiti, formations broken off etc. I'll try to dig up some pictures of the more difficult passages but they don't photograph well and I'm a pretty lousy photographer as it is.

One of my favorite routes I've taken probably over 50 times is simply for the fun of it and any one of you could handle it without a problem. It ranges from a good hike in some tunnel type rooms, to rooms the size of a small sports arena, to climbing, to some limited belly crawling. There's even a river that we brought tubes in with us and tried to take it to the end. (Even in a cave you can't get away from tubers) The vertical stuff is a little more fun, but still has its moments. In the first picture it was a 220 foot drop into the cave, we did some exploring but then the only way out is back up the rope.
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Old    Ron T (Laker1234)      Join Date: Mar 2010       03-23-2012, 5:03 PM Reply   
Awesome!!!
Old     (bakermatt)      Join Date: Mar 2012       03-29-2012, 7:26 AM Reply   
Looks amazing would love to go there! Far as I know the Vietnamese are proud they won the war and are ok with most foreigners.
Old    Kyle Linsey (kyle_L)      Join Date: Mar 2010       04-01-2012, 5:15 AM Reply   
after seeing 127 hours, repelling into caves, crevices etc is not on my list of things to do. very pretty though

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