“The statistics of caving accidents show that death is most common as a result of being crushed by falling boulders, becoming inexorably stuck in a narrow place, succumbing to exposure, and from drowning. Severe injury is frequent after a fall, and the result of long periods trapped underground seems to be a marked deterioration in the general condition of the party, but no lasting harm.” The house | The dinner | Thermal pool | Expedition One | Expedition Two | Charades etc | Movies


Chapter 5: Yarrangobilly Expedition Two
The second expedition was to a cave without the normal lighting and handrails, etc. With our trusty guide, Neil, we embarked on an expedition to Castle Cave, demanding the deployment of specialist caving gear, such as ski gloves, parkas, padded polar fleece helmets, and colour-coordinated accessories.

We began just before dusk, and headed off on a trek along the Yarrangobilly River. What struck many of us was the sense of déjà vu in seeing a recreation of Arthur Streeton's Fire's on (a magnificent oil painting of a mining accident in the Blue Mountains, painted in 1891).
[click for larger images/more detail]

The briefing takes place at the ticket hut
The briefing takes place at the ticket hut
Preparations for the deep dive ramp up
Preparations for the deep dive ramp up
Our official photographer in action
Our official photographer in action
Brian's polarfleece crash helmet is colour-matched
Brian's polarfleece crash helmet is colour-matched
Pauline also goes for the colour-coordinated look (matching gloves)
Pauline also goes for the colour-coordinated look (matching gloves)
Ivan opts for a helmet for extra warmth
Ivan opts for a helmet for extra warmth
Mike also goes for the colour co-ordinated look
Mike also goes for the colour co-ordinated look
Jim runs through the pre-dive checklist
Jim runs through the pre-dive checklist
A picture of intent concentration: very serious!
A picture of intent concentration: very serious!
On the other hand, Necia and Gregg get the joke
On the other hand, Necia and Gregg get the joke
It was so much brighter above ground
It was so much brighter above ground
But the lighting was magnificent
But the lighting was magnificent
Jim sprinting ahead as the sun sets
Jim sprinting ahead as the sun sets
The trek in takes its toll
The trek in takes its toll
Neil explaining that the sign is made from wood
Neil explaining that the sign is made from wood
Again, the lighting was quite magical
Again, the lighting was quite magical
Does this remind you of a certain painting?
Does this remind you of a certain painting?
Another view (action shot)
Another view (action shot)
Nearly there...
Nearly there...
One final briefing from Neil
One final briefing from Neil
And we're finally in Castle Cave!
And we're finally in Castle Cave!
100-year old railing against very old rock
100-year old railing against very old rock
Spectacular ceiling
Spectacular ceiling
Could be a painting
Could be a painting
The lighting was a ... highlight
The lighting was a ... highlight
Thank goodness there was room for all of us
Thank goodness there was room for all of us
Craned neck syndrome
Craned neck syndrome
It's the right way up
It's the right way up
Not to be named 'wedding cake'
Not to be named 'wedding cake'
The ushers took us to our seats
The ushers took us to our seats
Mango ice cream
Mango ice cream
What happens when you leave the ice cream out of the fridge for too long
What happens when you leave the ice cream out of the fridge for too long
Incredible crystalline structure
Incredible crystalline structure
From a science fiction movie set, probably
From a science fiction movie set, probably
Dripping wet (action shot)
Dripping wet (action shot)
Ancient chicken wire being slowly absorbed
Ancient chicken wire being slowly absorbed

The house | The dinner | Thermal pool | Expedition One | Expedition Two | Charades etc | Movies | itrundle.com     © May 2009