photo: The entrance of San Agustin. Photo by Dave Bunnell.

One of the last remaining untouched sumps in San Agustin is the upstream sump in Redball Canyon. Nearby, in the "1030 Sump Complex", another upstream sump has been connected to a cave known as Li Nita, making Sistema Huautla the first cave in the Western Hemisphere which cracked the magic 1000 metre mark. Due to this exciting nearby connection, and the fact that nobody knew where the large amount of water in Redball Canyon came from, made this sump a hot prospect.

A schematic of the shortest route from the San Agustin entrance to Camp III via the Fools Day Extension. Shown is also Redball Canyon with its upstream sump, the goal of the 2015 expedition.

Hence Andreas Klocker and Zeb Lilly planned a push on this sump and the cave beyond as part of the 2015 PESH expedition. Eight cave divers and many helpful sherpas pushed this lead over five weeks with several sustained camping trips which used famous Camp III as base. Three short sumps were dived (the third some was free-dived) and about 200 vertical meters were climbed beyond in some of the most beautiful passage found in Sistema Huautla.  In the end time was the reason to turn, and the cave continues big.

A map of the cave beyond the upstream sump in Redball canyon. Cartography by Derek Bristol.

Adam Byrd excited about finding the sump in Redball Canyon.

Further reading:

  • Klocker, 2017, Exploration beyond the sumps of Redball Canyon. AMCS Activities Newsletter 40:69-75. [pdf]