Son Doong Cave Exxploration
Several leads remained to be checked following the initial exploration in 2009. Some passage dimensions also had to be confirmed due to the disto’s being unable to measure the large distances encountered. The average passage width is 80m and average height 80-100m. Around the swimming pool, and approaching Passchendaele, the passage is over 130m wide.
The Garden of Edam was measured at over 163m wide.
A side passage at ‘In Dog we Trust’ was surveyed for a further 250m over rimstone pools, to a steeply descending gour slope which sumped in all directions at its base. A white scorpion and white spider were noted in a calcite choke.
At the lake near the entrance, a small inlet passage was followed that was partly explored in 2009 to a low airspace section. This was pushed through a low airspace, into an ascending passage with fine flowstone. After 100m, this intersected a larger flood prone passage which ended in a sump after 50m.
From the top of the Great Wall of Vietnam, 300m of passage was surveyed to a relatively small exit. The passage was dry and well decorated with many cave pearls. It was 70m wide. A calcited animal skeleton was discovered on top of a large stal boss. This could be the So’n Duo’ng (mountain cow) of which there are numerous hoof prints in the mud, or possibly a bear as suggested by one of the guides.
The exit was at 165m altitude as measured by GPS, was into an obvious valley, but with no obvious path out, and heavily vegetated. At the Great Wall of Vietnam, the passage is 199m high.
High Level Cave Development
Dr Vu Van Phai of Hanoi University of Science has identified 5 levels of cave development in the Ke Bang Massif (see below). Level 1 or 0m is taken as the modern stream cave level. Caves explored on this expedition in the area above Hang En suggest there is probably a sixth level at 350-400m above stream level.