dong Jiangjiatao -


Nom de la grotte : Jiangjiatao -
Province, Préfecture, District :
Guangxi 广西壮族自治区, Hechi 河池市, Fengshan 凤山县
Latitude Nord - Longitude Est :
24.679500 - 107.077671
Altitude (m) : 787
Développement (m) : 779
Profondeur (m) : 251
Profondeur - / + (m) : 0 /
Volume (m3) :
1Entrée : Jiangjiatao ,


Description 1


By Bruce Bensley

The Taliban wagons trundled to a halt on the track amongst surrounding fields filled with flowering crops. We had stopped just short of the small village and were soon enveloped by curious and welcoming villagers. It wasn’t clear what was in store for us, but we had packed some long ropes, a safe option for anything involving a pitch in China. Once our greetings were complete, we were shown the way along a droveway and across the fields to a dry streambed that disappeared into an overgrown hollow. We entered this further back where the steep banks could be more easily negotiated, and a couple of short climbs were tackled before reaching the pitch head. Although the opening was only a few metres across, the stones we dropped down rattled away until out of earshot.

A large assembly of villagers had gathered and was perched on all available outcrops, so an exclusion zone around the immediate pitch head was established in the interests of safety which gave us space to sort the kit. Mr Chen was there to film us and Bruce had also brought his video camera connected to a helmet camera for a trial run. Dave Appleing and Dave Williams set about rigging the pitch. Some large water-worn threads in the stream walls provided excellent sling placements and Dave Williams was soon teetering over the edge, drill in hand. The bolts went in for a Y-hang, and Dave descended down to a large ledge below, successfully avoiding filling up his wellies in a stagnant plunge pool. Others were less fortunate. Mr Chen filmed the action from a hastily rigged rope slung alongside and cushioned with tackle bags.

We all met up on the spacious ledge 30m below and Dave Williams continued drilling and rigging from the right hand wall. Another 30m and another step in the pitch. From a Y-hang on the left wall we descended again to the next ledge. No sign of the bottom yet. For a while, the villagers above could be heard chattering and laughing above, which was reassuring as we became swallowed up by the enormous throat-like shaft.

By now, Dave had been hanging around in his harness for some time and had that cutting feeling like someone with a trolley load of shopping in a Sainsbury’s carrier bag who’d just missed the bus. After drilling one more bolt in the right wall from the comfort of the ledge, the buck was passed to Bruce. Just below was a small scoop in the rock before the pitch dropped away, near vertical again. Bolting into the smooth bedrock out towards the middle, rope rub was avoided and a decent hang achieved With the others inconveniently out of reach and with a dwindling supply of thru bolts, single bolts were placed where possible and in one case this meant grinding smooth the quartz crystals around the knot. Below this, the shaft became slightly undercut and for the first time the bottom could be made out in my feeble main beam; a large circle of water of unknown depth. I called out excitedly to the others and then swung out to one side using my cows tails to anchor me to a small cleft in the rock. Here the rock looked more solid and a suitable bulge was found to bolt the rope out of danger from anything dislodged on the pitches above. The rope hung free to spot fortunately on the edge of a welly depth plunge pool perhaps 15m across. A short foray whilst the others regrouped confirmed the continuation of a downstream passage. Opposite this point was a silt and stick bank leading up some flowstone into a rising incoming passage. Dave A made a brief inspection and it was explored more fully later. Chen took the opportunity to film the chain of descending cavers and also feature the plunge pool which contained some interesting rounded stones with fine banding.

As the team slowly re-formed, a few ducked into the ongoing passage to scout ahead and Bruce crawled into a dry soil-filled tube that he found leading off from a similar bank of silt and stick debris. The lack of draught indicated little prospect of development and sure enough it closed down after 20m. The two Chinese cavers who had tagged along appeared to be steadily negotiating the pitch and were within sight of the bottom, so I scampered along to catch up with the others.

The floor was pebble and shingle and was obviously the outgoing drain for the plunge pool when the stream above was in flow. Several pools were encountered along the passage’s length and could often be avoided by taking to water worn bedrock shelves and outcrops or bridging against the smooth walls. At the start of one short section of shingle crawl, glow worms were found hanging from the ceiling.

After a few metres the team were held up by a short undercut pitch that looked too awkward and smooth to safely free-climb. With no rope or hangers we had to find a way to improvise. The passage was not overly developed and it could conclude before long, making a return trip wasteful of our time. The drill was summonsed and our last thru bolt sunk. Three remaining slings were linked together and hooked over the protruding thread. This looked just sufficient to reach the sloping ramp below, but it wasn’t exactly bomb proof. Above the hang was a slender rib of rock that when drilled through provided an 8mm thread for the chord, cannibalised from a tackle sack. This was our backup for the sling and so the pitch was named Fudgit Pitch.

Bruce elected to climb down and explore beyond. To the left a calcite flow climbed upward into the darkness, but the obvious continuation was along a narrow clean-washed vadose rift with waist deep water puddles along its length. A couple of minor steps were easily negotiated before encountering a wider more tricky drop, tackled by shuffling along a sloping ledge on the right hand side to where the rift narrowed and could be chimneyed. The passage widened just beyond where a steep flowstone climb was encountered whic threatened to halt my exploration. Knowing that the others would eventually come looking for me, I down-climbed using definite holds down the one side that allowed a layback position. A high straight section of corridor passage stretched forward for a short way ending in a lower crawl that terminated in a silt plug.

I returned to meet the others and struggled back up the linked slings. On the way out we discovered that the Chinese lads had returned to the surface after battling with one of the pitch rebelays. It turned out they were relatively inexperienced and had done extremely well to take on such an intimidating shaft (180m) to within sight of the bottom.

A couple of days later Bruce and Dave A returned to survey the cave and remove the gear. They also carried Bruce’s video camera linked to a helmet cam, a bulb photography kit and specimen sampling bottles. The ascending passage was surveyed first, with Dave sketching and Bruce on film and instruments. At first the passage rose up easily climbed flowstone floor and then levelled out along straight sections of corridor. The feeble stream pooled along a high corridor with muddy banks. The mud itself was light and layered with fine bandings of white sediment like a Vienetta ice cream. Further along, the floor became more silty with rocks and some miniature gours trickling with water. Up above these, a flowstone choke was climbed to a drop on the other side and a possible, although unpromising continuation.

Returning to the plunge pool, the cave was then surveyed downstream. At Fudgit Pitch, a hanger and short rope were installed. At this point, the uphill flowstone passage to the left was explored which ended in a muddy perched pool below an aven.

By now we were both getting a little weary and time was marching on. The downstream rift survey was methodically completed and we returned tired through the tighter sections with Bruce becoming irritated by his cumbersome video equipment and Dave doing his best to keep him chilled. We had already been hampered by carbide and video workshops and were by now keen to get out. At one point our tired eyes seemed unable to focus on something small on the cave wall. Straining them further the vision eventually came sharp. A long legged fly, similar to a ‘Daddy Long-Legs’, was quivering so rapidly that it became completely blurred to the eye. It would eventually stop, allowing us to tweezer it into the sample bottle!

At the foot of the main pitch, there was no time for the multi-flash shaft photo that we’d planned and we proceeded out, surveying as we went. Large hanks of rope were collected as we went since it seemed likely that a rope haul would snag and result in more faff. Dave had the better deal up front and by the time Bruce had reached the final pitch it seemed only fair to lumber Dave with the enormous rope bag that we had just packed up. The driver and villagers who had patiently waited for us were calling for us to hurry, but what could we do? We were knackered!

Bruce Bensley, Jane Butler, Ged Campion, Mike Clayton, Tony Harrison, Mike Peters, Emma Porter, Alister Renton, Graham Salmon, Ernie Shield, Dave Williams (2006)
Analyse :
57 pages, résultats des expéditions 2004 dans le Guangxi (Fengshan, Tian’e). 47 photos couleurs, 1 topo (Jiangzhou system), 2 cartes de situation

8926 caractères - Lu 50 Fois

Bibliographie 3

Compiled by: Bruce Bensley, Ged Campion, Mike Clayton, Tony Harrison, Emma Porter.
Articles, surveys and photographs produced by: Dave Appleing, Bruce Bensley, Jane Butler, Ged Campion, Mike Clayton, Tony Harrison, Mike Peters, Emma Porter, Alister Renton, Graham Salmon, Ernie Shield, Ruth Shield, Dave Williams.
Special thanks are due to Bruce Bensley for his professional production of maps and surveys. (2005)
Tian’e & Fengshan Expeditions 2004 China Caves Project. The 17th and 18th China Caves Project Expeditions. Published: October 2005 by British Cave Research Association (BCRA).
ISBN number: 0 900265 43 4
Rapport de deux expeditions 2004 dans le Guangxi (Fengshan et Tian’e districts).
Source :

Bruce Bensley, Jane Butler, Ged Campion, Mike Clayton, Tony Harrison, Mike Peters, Emma Porter, Alister Renton, Graham Salmon, Ernie Shield, Dave Williams (2006)
57 pages, résultats des expéditions 2004 dans le Guangxi (Fengshan, Tian’e). 47 photos couleurs, 1 topo (Jiangzhou system), 2 cartes de situation
Source :

Ged Campion : Expedition report China Spring 2004
YRC Bulletin Issue 22 Winter 2004 p.57-68
Bref compte rendu d’expédition à Tian’e et fengshan (Guangxi) 9 photos, 3 topographies, 1 carte de situation générale.
Source :

Images 0

Topographie 0

Expédition 1

Cette grotte a été identifiée ou explorée au minimum par cette (ces) expédition (s) :