wilderness LECTURES

Diving into Darkness, Explorations in Sistema Huautla

Chris Jewell on 11/01/2017 19:30

Advance £9.00, Door £9.50, Concession £8.50

Chemistry Theatre, University of Bristol
Chris Jewell

Chris Jewell is an exploratory caver and cave diver who has been able to explore new caves in the UK and abroad. He began taking part in exploratory caving expeditions in 2002, initially in Austria on the Dachstein massif. The experience gained here has allowed him to venture to new areas and greater depths. He has been giving lectures on his caving exploits since 2005 at various events and has recently started to make short films about his adventures, taking his video camera where no one has taken one before and filming live exploration. For example the YouTube link below is to some footage from the 2013 exploration in Huatla


Sistema Huautla is a cave system in Mexico's Sierra Mazateca mountains. It's been explored since the '60s and has been the site of multiple expeditions involving cavers from all over the world, many of them from the UK, including the founder of The Bristol Climbing Centre, the late Rob Parker; in 1994, British cave diver Ian Roland tragically died in the terminal sump, using a prototype rebreather apparatus.

In 2013 an international team of cavers and cave divers re-launched exploration in the Huautla cave system with an expedition to dive sump 9 and go beyond what was once called "the most remote point reached inside the earth". Three years later in 2016 Chris Jewell was back in Mexico with another team, this time diving the Huautla resurgence. This talk will recap on the 2013 expedition and the logistics of cave diving in remote locations before unveiling the finds of this year’s expedition. Cave diving in Huautla involves the use of technical diving equipment including rebreathers and mixed gases. This makes it possible for the explorers to spend many hours under the water and travel to both great depths and distances - all in the name of exploration, to go see places no one has ever seen before. In this talk Chris will give you an insight into the world of cave diving, the psychology of the divers, the logistics of technical diving and the thrill of real exploration!

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