The Craven Pothole Club China Expedition returned on April 5th 2003 after four weeks in the field, with around 22km of cave surveyed and some 50 cave sites visited in two counties in Guangxi province. The fourteen expedition members were Tracey Beasley, Nick Blundell, Mike Bottomley, Arthur Champion, Mike Clayton, Kevin Gannon (leader), Pete Jones, Karen Lane, Dave Milner (treasurer), Paul Norman, Brian Norton, Emma Porter, Patrick Warren (deputy leader), Mike Whitehouse.
In Jingxi county, the principal explorations included two magnificent river caves, Wang Long Dong (4.1km) and Dark Cave (0.8km) in the north-west of the county, an interesting river cave Yin Quan (2.4km) in cone karst very close to the Vietnam border, and the spectacular Wo Long Dong (0.5km) containing two large well decorated chambers (20,000 m2 + 15,000 m2) not far from the county town of Jingxi. Elsewhere, 23 other sites were explored and a total of 14.2km of passage surveyed. An overview map of the river caves, and surveys of Dark Cave, Wo Long Dong and Yin Quan are attached. The detailed survey of Wang Long Dong is still being prepared. Our latest information is that Yin Quan will be turned into a show cave.
The second part of the expedition was spent in Pingguo county 110km east of Jingxi. Here a small team explored an area of dolines some 30km east of Pingguo county town (Long Yang village). In parallel, an extensive and beautiful cave Long Ma Yan (3.2km) was surveyed close to Bang Xhu, the old county town some 60km to the north of Pingguo. This cave included sections of river passage as well as significant dry series and chambers with spectacular decorations. It is planned for this system to become a show cave. A number of other sites near Bang Xhu were reconnoitred including a deep river valley 20km to the west which was followed north through dramatic cone karst into increasingly significant cave development where river sinks and fragments of enormous relic cave passage were encountered right on the northern border of Pingguo county (Bai Feng village). A total of 21 sites were explored in Pingguo with 7.2km of surveyed cave passage.
A self-contained expedition report is still under preparation (13 out of 29 cave surveys have been drawn up). A detailed list of all sites visited or reconnoitred was put together in the field and will form part of this. Personal recollections and a summary of the expedition findings including some surveys have now been published in the CPC Record Number 71. An article for Descent is also in preparation. Completed surveys are available online at http://www.pjwarren.demon.co.uk/caving/china/surveys/
We wish to thank Zhang Yua Hai and Professor Zhu Xue Wen of the Karst Research Institute in Guilin for their dedicated advice and guidance, Andy Eavis and the China Caves Project for strong support, and the people of Jingxi and Pingguo for their generosity and help. Additional support in kind came from Computeach International Ltd, Jordans, Kelloggs, LifeSystems, Total Access Systems, and Weather Writer. Funding is gratefully acknowledged from the Ghar Parau Foundation (£600), the Mount Everest Foundation (£750), and the Craven Pothole Club (£1400).
Note on accounts shown overleaf: personal expenditure on caving equipment, camping equipment, antimalarials, visas, etc, was not recorded as part of the expedition accounts.