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#lechuguillacave

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A little nook in a passage we named Purple Rain. This is what zero human impact can look like- at least underground. Even when we take great care to leave minimal traces of our passing, virgin terrain is forever changed just by us having been there. Fukn eh. #lechuguillacave #caves #speleo

A few months ago I was invited to join a five-person team of explorers and scientists and spend a week camped underground inside arguably the prettiest and most decorated cave ever discovered. For almost twenty years I've dreamed of taking my camera inside Lechuguilla in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Finally, in January/February this year, I got that chance and now I'm excited to share the photographs with you all.

Located in the southwestern branch of Lechuguilla and just around the corner from the Big Sky camp where we were sleeping, lies another beautiful part of the cave. Known as Pearlsian Gulf and named after several nests of pristine white cave pearls, this idyllic paradise is one of the most iconic landmarks in the cave. These cave pearls (pictured) are formed when saturated water drips into small pools with such vigour that regular speleothems like stalagmites cannot form. A bit of foreign matter, for example a grain of sand, becomes coated with calcite and these slight movements of water help keep the sand oscillating in motion while new layers of calcite are added, before eventually a pristine white cave pearl is formed.
#Lechuguilla #lechuguillacave #CarlsbadCaverns #Carlsbad #adventure #expedition #science #jeweloftheunderground #biology #microbiology #antibiotics #cave #terramater #explore #exploration #pearl #cavepearl #jewllery #jewelry

Learned about this place while watching #PlanetEarth . I want to go so bad. #LechuguillaCave

Eventually reach base camp (6-7 hours from surface). Exhausted, hungry and ready for bed.... #filming #adventure #natgeo #osr #cave #lechuguillacave

Bat cave 😈 #carlsbad #purenm

shhhh, you'll wake my dragons 🐉🔥😂 #rulerofthesevenkingdoms #dracarys
--
made it to the deepest cave in the US, extending down 1604ft 😦

A few months ago I was invited to join a five-person team of explorers and scientists and spend a week camped underground inside arguably the prettiest and most decorated cave ever discovered. For almost twenty years I've dreamed of taking my camera inside Lechuguilla in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Finally, in January/February this year, I got that chance and now I'm excited to share the photographs with you all.

Pictured here is a stalagmite featured in Pearlsian Gulf. The stalagmite has formed over hundreds of thousands of years as drip waters fall to the floor, de-gas carbon dioxide, and deposit calcium carbonate layer by layer. Later on, the chemistry of the drip waters has changed, and instead of calcium carbonate being deposited, it has been dissolved, revealing the internal structure of the stalagmite. The walls of the stalagmite have become so thin that it is possible to shine a light through them.

#Lechuguilla #lechuguillacave #CarlsbadCaverns #Carlsbad #adventure #expedition #science #jeweloftheunderground #biology #microbiology #antibiotics #cave #terramater #explore #exploration #stalagmite

A few months ago I was invited to join a five-person team of explorers and scientists and spend a week camped underground inside arguably the prettiest and most decorated cave ever discovered. For almost twenty years I've dreamed of taking my camera inside Lechuguilla in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Finally, in January/February this year, I got that chance and now I'm excited to share the photographs with you all.

The Chandelier Ballroom in Lechuguilla is an underground chamber that is as iconic and well known to cave explorers around the world as the Royal Albert Hall is to the worlds leading musicians, composers and artists. There is nowhere else in the world that explorers have discovered quite like it! With its giant 6m (20ft) long glittering gypsum chandelier formations hanging down from the ceiling, it feels like you are exploring a cave on another planet. Pictured here at the back of the room and on the left-hand side, leading cave paleoclimatologist Dr. Gina Moseley (@negreenland_caves) admires a cluster of the gypsum formations. She is overwhelmed by the size and amount of brilliant white gypsum chandeliers that lie in front of her.
#Lechuguilla #lechuguillacave #CarlsbadCaverns #Carlsbad #adventure #jeweloftheunderground #expedition #science #biology #cave #terramater #explore #exploration #chandelierballroom #gypsum

A few months ago I was invited to join a five-person team of explorers and scientists and spend a week camped underground inside arguably the prettiest and most decorated cave ever discovered. For almost twenty years I've dreamed of taking my camera inside Lechuguilla in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Finally, in January/February this year, I got that chance and now I'm excited to share the photographs with you all.

As we got closer to the Big Sky camp underground in Lechuguilla we had one final short obstacle to overcome. A near vertical rope climb into the passage leading up to the campsite. Due to the heat and the high levels of humidity the journey through the cave to the Big Sky camp was extremely tiring.
Pictured here, Dr. Gina Moseley (@negreenland_caves) looks for a good strong foothold to help her up the short rope climb, which we reached after 8 hours of caving.
#Lechuguilla #lechuguillacave #CarlsbadCaverns #Carlsbad #adventure #jeweloftheunderground #expedition #science #biology #cave #terramater #explore #exploration #petzlgram @petzl_official

MOST RECENT

A little nook in a passage we named Purple Rain. This is what zero human impact can look like- at least underground. Even when we take great care to leave minimal traces of our passing, virgin terrain is forever changed just by us having been there. Fukn eh. #lechuguillacave #caves #speleo

Lechuguilla has been in his slumber for some time in the caves of Carlsbad... it was far overdue to let him out. Go forth and do some night walking little guy! #characterdesign #grislyart #vampire #cave #coffin #darkhumor #bat #carlsbad #lechuguilla #lechuguillacave #davidgrisly

shhhh, you'll wake my dragons 🐉🔥😂 #rulerofthesevenkingdoms #dracarys
--
made it to the deepest cave in the US, extending down 1604ft 😦

@shonephoto
・・・
A few months ago I was invited to join a five-person team of explorers and scientists and spend a week camped underground inside arguably the prettiest and most decorated cave ever discovered. For almost twenty years I've dreamed of taking my camera inside Lechuguilla in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Finally, in January/February this year, I got that chance and now I'm excited to share the photographs with you all.

Located in the southwestern branch of Lechuguilla and just around the corner from the Big Sky camp where we were sleeping, lies another beautiful part of the cave. Known as Pearlsian Gulf and named after several nests of pristine white cave pearls (pictured bottom left hand corner), this idyllic paradise is one of the most iconic landmarks in the cave. A small pool of turquoise water surrounded by yellow and white speleothem formations is another sampling site for microbiologist Prof. Hazel Barton (pictured in red). Upon entering the site, we were told to change into clean clothes and wear a brand new pair of non-marking sole pumps to walk around. It was vital we didn’t leave behind any signs of us being there.
#Lechuguilla #lechuguillacave #CarlsbadCaverns #Carlsbad #adventure #expedition #science #jeweloftheunderground #biology #microbiology #antibiotics #cave #terramater #explore #exploration

A few months ago I was invited to join a five-person team of explorers and scientists and spend a week camped underground inside arguably the prettiest and most decorated cave ever discovered. For almost twenty years I've dreamed of taking my camera inside Lechuguilla in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Finally, in January/February this year, I got that chance and now I'm excited to share the photographs with you all.
During our week-long expedition camped underground in Lechuguilla, I spent most of my time seeing the beauty of the cave through the lens of my camera. However, when not concentrating where the next photograph is coming from, in my mind I often disappear to a quiet place and resort to something I have practiced all my life - sketching. Here is a pen & ink drawing I made in my diary of the Chandelier Ballroom viewed from the end of a marked path, pretty much as close to the giant gypsum formations as possible.
#Lechuguilla #lechuguillacave #CarlsbadCaverns #Carlsbad #adventure #expedition #science #jeweloftheunderground #biology #cave #terramater #explore #exploration #art #drawing #sketch #artwork #diary

A few months ago I was invited to join a five-person team of explorers and scientists and spend a week camped underground inside arguably the prettiest and most decorated cave ever discovered. For almost twenty years I've dreamed of taking my camera inside Lechuguilla in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Finally, in January/February this year, I got that chance and now I'm excited to share the photographs with you all.

The Chandelier Ballroom in Lechuguilla is an underground chamber that is as iconic and well known to cave explorers around the world as the Royal Albert Hall is to the worlds leading musicians, composers and artists. There is nowhere else in the world that explorers have discovered quite like it! With its giant 6m (20ft) long glittering gypsum chandelier formations hanging down from the ceiling, it feels like you are exploring a cave on another planet.
#Lechuguilla #lechuguillacave #CarlsbadCaverns #Carlsbad #adventure #jeweloftheunderground #expedition #science #biology #cave #terramater #explore #exploration #chandelierballroom #gypsum

Pearlsian Gulf - Diese von @shonephoto fotografierte Halle ist benannt nach den Kalkkugeln, die hier in großer Zahl zu finden sind. Wie diese "Perlen" entstehen wird in der aktuellen #terramatermagazin Ausgabe 4/2017 erklärt.
#lechuguillacave #cave #newmexico #science #explore

A few months ago I was invited to join a five-person team of explorers and scientists and spend a week camped underground inside arguably the prettiest and most decorated cave ever discovered. For almost twenty years I've dreamed of taking my camera inside Lechuguilla in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Finally, in January/February this year, I got that chance and now I'm excited to share the photographs with you all.

Located in the southwestern branch of Lechuguilla and just around the corner from the Big Sky camp where we were sleeping, lies another beautiful part of the cave. Known as Pearlsian Gulf and named after several nests of pristine white cave pearls (pictured bottom left hand corner), this idyllic paradise is one of the most iconic landmarks in the cave. A small pool of turquoise water surrounded by yellow and white speleothem formations is another sampling site for microbiologist Prof. Hazel Barton (pictured in red). Upon entering the site, we were told to change into clean clothes and wear a brand new pair of non-marking sole pumps to walk around. It was vital we didn’t leave behind any signs of us being there.
#Lechuguilla #lechuguillacave #CarlsbadCaverns #Carlsbad #adventure #expedition #science #jeweloftheunderground #biology #microbiology #antibiotics #cave #terramater #explore #exploration

A few months ago I was invited to join a five-person team of explorers and scientists and spend a week camped underground inside arguably the prettiest and most decorated cave ever discovered. For almost twenty years I've dreamed of taking my camera inside Lechuguilla in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Finally, in January/February this year, I got that chance and now I'm excited to share the photographs with you all.

As in previous posts during this story, I have highlighted the beauty and splendour of The Chandelier Ballroom in the heart of Lechuguilla. This photograph is especially special as it shows a collection of gypsum chandeliers that have been little photographed before. These chandeliers are also located within the famous Chandelier Ballroom, but are not easily seen from the main path through the cave. I am very grateful to be given permission to get up close to these and photograph them.

#Lechuguilla #lechuguillacave #CarlsbadCaverns #Carlsbad #adventure #expedition #science #jeweloftheunderground #biology #microbiology #antibiotics #cave #terramater #explore #explorationl #jewllery #jewelry #Chandelier #ChandelierBallroom

A few months ago I was invited to join a five-person team of explorers and scientists and spend a week camped underground inside arguably the prettiest and most decorated cave ever discovered. For almost twenty years I've dreamed of taking my camera inside Lechuguilla in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Finally, in January/February this year, I got that chance and now I'm excited to share the photographs with you all.

Pictured here is a stalagmite featured in Pearlsian Gulf. The stalagmite has formed over hundreds of thousands of years as drip waters fall to the floor, de-gas carbon dioxide, and deposit calcium carbonate layer by layer. Later on, the chemistry of the drip waters has changed, and instead of calcium carbonate being deposited, it has been dissolved, revealing the internal structure of the stalagmite. The walls of the stalagmite have become so thin that it is possible to shine a light through them.

#Lechuguilla #lechuguillacave #CarlsbadCaverns #Carlsbad #adventure #expedition #science #jeweloftheunderground #biology #microbiology #antibiotics #cave #terramater #explore #exploration #stalagmite

A few months ago I was invited to join a five-person team of explorers and scientists and spend a week camped underground inside arguably the prettiest and most decorated cave ever discovered. For almost twenty years I've dreamed of taking my camera inside Lechuguilla in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Finally, in January/February this year, I got that chance and now I'm excited to share the photographs with you all.

Located in the southwestern branch of Lechuguilla and just around the corner from the Big Sky camp where we were sleeping, lies another beautiful part of the cave. Known as Pearlsian Gulf and named after several nests of pristine white cave pearls, this idyllic paradise is one of the most iconic landmarks in the cave. These cave pearls (pictured) are formed when saturated water drips into small pools with such vigour that regular speleothems like stalagmites cannot form. A bit of foreign matter, for example a grain of sand, becomes coated with calcite and these slight movements of water help keep the sand oscillating in motion while new layers of calcite are added, before eventually a pristine white cave pearl is formed.
#Lechuguilla #lechuguillacave #CarlsbadCaverns #Carlsbad #adventure #expedition #science #jeweloftheunderground #biology #microbiology #antibiotics #cave #terramater #explore #exploration #pearl #cavepearl #jewllery #jewelry

A few months ago I was invited to join a five-person team of explorers and scientists and spend a week camped underground inside arguably the prettiest and most decorated cave ever discovered. For almost twenty years I've dreamed of taking my camera inside Lechuguilla in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Finally, in January/February this year, I got that chance and now I'm excited to share the photographs with you all.

Located in the southwestern branch of Lechuguilla and just around the corner from the Big Sky camp where we were sleeping, lies another beautiful part of the cave. Known as Pearlsian Gulf and named after several nests of pristine white cave pearls, this idyllic paradise is one of the most iconic landmarks in the cave. A small pool of turquoise water surrounded by yellow and white speleothem formations is another sampling site for microbiologist Prof. Hazel Barton. Upon entering the site, we were told to change into clean clothes and wear a brand new pair of non-marking sole pumps to walk around. It was vital we didn’t leave behind any signs of us being there.
Pictured here, Dr. Gina Moseley (@negreenland_caves) admires the cave formations from the back of the room close to the nests of cave pearls.

#Lechuguilla #lechuguillacave #CarlsbadCaverns #Carlsbad #adventure #expedition #science #jeweloftheunderground #biology #microbiology #antibiotics #cave #terramater #explore #exploration

A few months ago I was invited to join a five-person team of explorers and scientists and spend a week camped underground inside arguably the prettiest and most decorated cave ever discovered. For almost twenty years I've dreamed of taking my camera inside Lechuguilla in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Finally, in January/February this year, I got that chance and now I'm excited to share the photographs with you all.

Lechuguilla is such a beautiful and well decorated cave and it’s because of this that access inside the cave is restricted to only worthy scientific, exploration or mapping projects. This is to ensure that the numbers of people traversing through the cave and potentially damaging it further is reduced to a bare minimum. The Land of the Lost (pictured) is a maze of breakdown tunnels and passages veering off in all directions. One of the tasks we had on our agenda during our expedition was to carry out a re-survey of several sections of this area, from which the authority can use to tie in to the overall survey of the cave.
The Land of the Lost is another beautiful and highly decorated part of the cave. It is full of white gypsum crystals. We had to be extra careful not to stand on any of them!
#Lechuguilla #lechuguillacave #CarlsbadCaverns #Carlsbad #adventure #expedition #science #jeweloftheunderground #biology #cave #terramater #explore #exploration

A few months ago I was invited to join a five-person team of explorers and scientists and spend a week camped underground inside arguably the prettiest and most decorated cave ever discovered. For almost twenty years I've dreamed of taking my camera inside Lechuguilla in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Finally, in January/February this year, I got that chance and now I'm excited to share the photographs with you all.
Deep underground in Lechuguilla, there are a number of camps that explorers use as their base. Pictured here is the Big Sky camp, which is located in the southwestern branch of the cave, close to the Voids and Pearlsian Gulf. This was our home for a week in January/February this year. The Carlsbad Caverns National Park authority has strict conservation rules. One of which is that all team members on arriving at a camp, must first spread a sheet of plastic on the sandy floor. All personal belongings have to be placed on top of this sheet. All meals have to eaten on this sheet. Then, at the end of the expedition, the sheet is folded away and taken out of the cave, along with anything brought in from outside. It is extremely important to keep the cave as it was before humans discovered it.

#Lechuguilla #lechuguillacave #CarlsbadCaverns #Carlsbad #adventure #expedition #science #jeweloftheunderground #biology #cave #terramater #explore #exploration #camp #basecamp

A few months ago I was invited to join a five-person team of explorers and scientists and spend a week camped underground inside arguably the prettiest and most decorated cave ever discovered. For almost twenty years I've dreamed of taking my camera inside Lechuguilla in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Finally, in January/February this year, I got that chance and now I'm excited to share the photographs with you all.

Finally, after over 8 hours of caving, negotiating all the many squeezes, climbs, traverses, rappels, and lakes, we reached the Big Sky camp in Lechuguilla. Located in the southwestern branch of the cave, close to the Voids and Pearlsian Gulf, this was to be our base for the next week. First things first, we boiled up a pan of water on the stove and made a brew for everyone. Pictured here is Dr. Gina Moseley (@NEGreenland_Caves) enjoying a well deserved mug of tea, after reaching this point deep in the cave and having carried in so much weight in her bag.

#Lechuguilla #lechuguillacave #CarlsbadCaverns #Carlsbad #adventure #expedition #science #jeweloftheunderground #biology #cave #terramater #explore #exploration #camp #basecamp #petzlgram @petzl_official

A few months ago I was invited to join a five-person team of explorers and scientists and spend a week camped underground inside arguably the prettiest and most decorated cave ever discovered. For almost twenty years I've dreamed of taking my camera inside Lechuguilla in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Finally, in January/February this year, I got that chance and now I'm excited to share the photographs with you all.

As we got closer to the Big Sky camp underground in Lechuguilla we had one final short obstacle to overcome. A near vertical rope climb into the passage leading up to the campsite. Due to the heat and the high levels of humidity the journey through the cave to the Big Sky camp was extremely tiring.
Pictured here, Dr. Gina Moseley (@negreenland_caves) looks for a good strong foothold to help her up the short rope climb, which we reached after 8 hours of caving.
#Lechuguilla #lechuguillacave #CarlsbadCaverns #Carlsbad #adventure #jeweloftheunderground #expedition #science #biology #cave #terramater #explore #exploration #petzlgram @petzl_official

A few months ago I was invited to join a five-person team of explorers and scientists and spend a week camped underground inside arguably the prettiest and most decorated cave ever discovered. For almost twenty years I've dreamed of taking my camera inside Lechuguilla in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Finally, in January/February this year, I got that chance and now I'm excited to share the photographs with you all.

Due to the heat and the high levels of humidity underground in Lechuguilla, the journey through the cave to the Big Sky camp was extremely tiring. It was made even more so because we had to carry in all of our food supplies and sleeping equipment for the duration of our week long expedition. Oh, and I had a little photography gear too! The flagged pathway seen here continued to mark out the trail and help minimise the impact and reduce further damage to the cave.

#Lechuguilla #lechuguillacave #CarlsbadCaverns #Carlsbad #adventure #jeweloftheunderground #expedition #science #biology #cave #terramater #explore #exploration

A few months ago I was invited to join a five-person team of explorers and scientists and spend a week camped underground inside arguably the prettiest and most decorated cave ever discovered. For almost twenty years I've dreamed of taking my camera inside Lechuguilla in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Finally, in January/February this year, I got that chance and now I'm excited to share the photographs with you all.

The Chandelier Ballroom in Lechuguilla is an underground chamber that is as iconic and well known to cave explorers around the world as the Royal Albert Hall is to the worlds leading musicians, composers and artists. There is nowhere else in the world that explorers have discovered quite like it! With its giant 6m (20ft) long glittering gypsum chandelier formations hanging down from the ceiling, it feels like you are exploring a cave on another planet. Pictured here at the back of the room and on the left-hand side, leading cave paleoclimatologist Dr. Gina Moseley (@negreenland_caves) admires a cluster of the gypsum formations. She is overwhelmed by the size and amount of brilliant white gypsum chandeliers that lie in front of her.
#Lechuguilla #lechuguillacave #CarlsbadCaverns #Carlsbad #adventure #jeweloftheunderground #expedition #science #biology #cave #terramater #explore #exploration #chandelierballroom #gypsum

A few months ago I was invited to join a small team of five explorers and scientists and spend a week camped underground inside arguably the prettiest and most decorated cave ever discovered. For almost twenty years I've dreamed of taking my camera inside Lechuguilla in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Finally, in January/February this year, I got that chance and now I'm excited to share the photographs with you all.

Lechuguilla is known as the jewel of the underground. Inside its vast network of tunnels, there are thousands and thousands of beautiful crystal formations that create such a fascinating wonderland. Pictured here, an aragonite bush grows approximately 30cm (12 inches) out from one of the walls in The Lebarge Borehole. #Lechuguilla #lechuguillacave #CarlsbadCaverns #Carlsbad #adventure #expedition #science #jeweloftheunderground #biology #cave #terramater #explore #exploration #aragonite

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