The above-mentioned J2 was the goal of 2005 spring expedition. The camp was established in a desolate and waterless forest at 2200 m. In 2004, the cave was explored to -391 m. Down to this depth, the cave is tight and vertical. Computer maps of the mountain suggested that below that level the cave would become larger and more horizontal. Indeed the exploration in 2005, first pursued from the surface, then underground, was a pleasure. A great draft of air and a river might have meant a big cave.
Unfortunately, at -756 m we were halted by a sump. We spent almost two weeks trying to find an alternative passage - to no avail. It seemed to mean an end to our expedition. However, in record time diving equipment was transported from the U.S. We organized this quickly and transported it to Camp 2, located near the sump.
The sump was first passed by an Australian, Alan Warild. Past that obstacle, there was a vast corridor. However, due to large distance from the cave entrance, further exploration using diving equipment seemed impossible. The sump was created by a natural five meter dam. We agreed to attempt to demolish it and hence make it possible to overcome the obstacle without the need of diving techniques.
The next 4 days meant work on the other side of the sump. By removing one rock after another off the dam, we managed to drop the water level by 2.5 metres. On the fifth day we got through to the other side with our heads above the water. The exploration continued.
Below, deep canyons, waterfalls and lakes were found, each bigger than the last one. During the last bivouac a depth of 1101 m was reached. The cave continues beyond this point.
The exploration of J2 shall be continued. An examination of the cave's plans proves that a real chance to get past the Cueva Cheve sumps exists. Nonetheless, it is still a long way to get to Cueva de la Mano resurgence - 12 km in a straight line. The Sierra Juarez still hides many mysteries.
All the Proyecto Cheve expeditions in which we participated were organised by Bill Stone and US Deep Caving Team. They all have had an international cast - cavers from Australia, England, Germany, Netherlands, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland and the U.S. Each year more and more Poles take part in them as well.
All photos by the autors
Gala M., 2003. Cueva Cheve. Jaskinie, 31:25-26.
Fiedorowicz T., 2005. Dwie wyprawy. Joskinie,
Gala M., 2005. Lato Ieśnych ludzi, czyli nasze trzy
tygodnie w meksykańskiej dżungli.
Jaskinie 38:13-14. http://speleo.pl/
Polish participants in Proyecto Cheve expeditions:
Speleoklub Warszawski: Małgorzata Barcz - 2004, Katarzyna Biernacka -2001, 2003, 2004, 2005,
Tomasz Fiedorowicz - 2003, 2004, 2005, Marcin Gala - 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, Katarzyna Kędracka - 2005 Katarzyna Okuszko - 2003, 2004, Lena Ostrowska - 2005, Paweł Skoworodko - 2003, 2004, 2005
Speleoklub Gawra Gorzów: Artur Nowak - 2004, 2005.