THE ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY HONG KONG
"Extreme Caving: Into the Deep "
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
3F, British Council, 3 Supreme Court Road
(this venue is next to Pacific Place, 5 minutes from Admiralty MTR)
Drinks Reception 6.30 pm; Lecture 7.30 pm
We are delighted to welcome Richard Gerrish, a worldrenowned cave explorer, to speak on "Extreme Caving: Into the Deep ". The world's caves provide one of the last places on the planet where original exploration is still possible. During this lecture, Mr Gerrish explains his adventures in the extraordinary world of cave exploration. The lecture covers his 2005 expedition to Malaysia exploring the eighth longest cave system in the world and the discovery of the second largest cave chamber in the world. The talk continues with his exploration of deep caves in China in 2006 and 2007, where Mr Gerrish was part of the first descent of the world's second deepest underground shaft and the discovery of the first 1,000m deep cave in China.
Richard Gerrish's first overseas expeditions were to the Picos De Europa Mountains in Northern Spain exploring a large stream way from an underground camp at 750m, then to the Dachstein Massif in Austria. In 2002 he took part in a multinational expedition to the Sierra Negra Mountains in Mexico, again exploring deep caves. Also in 2002, he first became involved in a multinational project to explore deep caves in Yunnan Province, China, aiming to find a mountain area with greater than 2,000m of depth potential.
In 2005 he joined a British expedition to Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak, Malaysia. Here the team recorded some 30km of new passage, bringing the Clearwater Cave System to 130km in length and the discovery of the world's second largest cave chamber in the space of one month.
In 2006 and 2007, he returned to China to continue the exploration of the deepest cave in China, Qikeng Dong in Qongqing prefecture. Over the two years he managed to make several connections between Qikeng Dong and surrounding caves to connect together a system greater than 1,000m deep (the first to exceed this mark in China), 35km in total length and with seven separate entrances. Also in this system, he was fortunate enough to be involved with the first descent of the second deepest underground shaft in the world, 501m. The cave exploration in this area has been so significant that it became a major reason for the area recently becoming a UNESCO World Heritage site.
For many of these expeditions, especially the ones in China and Malaysia, he took superb slide collections, which are to be shown at the lecture, together with a number of underground videos.
Richard Gerrish was educated at Oxford University and has been caving for 15 years, of which the last nine have been original exploration around the globe. He currently works for Outward Bound Hong Kong as its Training Manager. Mr Gerrish is an experienced outdoor educator and adventurer with a passion for original cave exploration in remote areas, particularly enjoying combining adventurous expeditions and interaction with local cultures, then documenting these through pictorial, video and written reports such as short films and magazine articles. He lectures regularly on caves, gives papers at conferences, has had numerous articles published in caving magazines and is presently writing a book on his nine years of international cave exploration.
Members and their guests are most welcome to attend this lecture, which is HK$100 for Members and HK$150 for guests and others.