Xin Lu Kou Dong is best approached by walking down the Furong Dong path from Tianxing village, past Dong Ba until you reach a small hamlet in the valley bottom. The cave is about 50 metres above the hamlet to the northwest and you should ask the farmer for directions! The final approach to the entrance involves a slightly delicate traverse over a small cliff into a phreatic tube about 2 metres in diameter.
There is a cold draught at floor level and warmer air near the ceiling. After about 40 metres water falls from an aven and the phreatic tube gains a vadose canyon in the floor. This canyon becomes increasingly well developed and after about 120 metres, deep holes in the floor capture the tiny stream. The canyon continues to the head of a pitch which is the start of a 143 metre shaft. The phreatic tube, which is so clear at the entrance, is no longer in evidence and there appears to be only a slight possibility that a passage continues over the shaft.
The first pitch of 10 metres lands on a large ledge with an old rotten winch. This is a relic of a Chinese exploration in the 1960's when a hydrological survey of the area attempted to map the water level in the region. Some poor unfortunate was lowered down the shaft using this winch, but owing to the deviations in the shaft it is unlikely they reached the bottom. The last 60 metre pitch lands on a boulder floor in a 10 metre wide rift chamber.
To the northeast, a small hole was dug to enter a canyon and a pitch. This route was explored in 1996 and led to some short pitches and climbs before degenerating into an awkward muddy crawl with squeezes.
The obvious way on is down the chamber to the southwest and down into a small vadose canyon with a tiny stream. The stream turns left (straight on ends after a few metres) and the cave continues down a series of clean-washed climbs and across pools to an 8.5 metre pitch. This section of cave is strongly influenced by joints and water falling from the roof is probably from the 'holes in the floor' which capture the small stream in the entrance passage. A squeeze in a rift regains a canyon which descends to a climb then another 6.5 metre pitch.
Below this point the size of the cave reduces and progress is made by crawling and stooping in an immature canyon half filled with water. A bat was encountered right at the limit of exploration, which may suggest the bottom is worth pushing.
YGE94 p76,77(S) misnamed .Lou.
2445 caractères - Lu 18 Fois