Speleological expedition to Baysun-Tau
First half of august
Baysyn-Tau expedition 2019
The deepest caves of Asia are concentrated here on Baysun-Tau mountain range.
One of the grand Baysun-Tau ranges, Khoja-Gur-Gur-Ata ridge, rises above the surrounding landscape and scarce alpine villages more than 3600 m. It stretches for more than 100 km from the southwest to the northeast. Tectonic processes lifted limestone stratum above 3500 m height above sea level, forming an extensive inclined plateau in the northwest, which ends in the southeast with a almost 500 m high cliff, which faces the south-east.
There are about 30 known caves. Here are some of them:
– Boy-Bulok is the deepest cave in Asia. The entrance of the cave is near the edge of the plateau. The depth of the cave is 1415 m, the length – 14270 m. The main passage is slanted conforming the formation of limestone layers. The cave ends with a culvert.
– Dark Star – was discovered by Russian geologists, and researched in 1990 by group of English cavers “Aspex 90”. Air temperature inside: -2 to -5 degrees Celcius. The cave is 17,400 m long and 908 m deep.
– Ural cave: 2500 m long, 565 m deep.
– Festival cave: 16200 m long, the depth – 625 m deep.
Research works on the cave Dark Star was resumed in 2012 by cavers from Yekaterinburg. Owing to the cave, the karst region gained international fame among cavers. During that time, the cave reached its maximum.
While various expeditions explored the southwestern wall of Khoja-Gur-Gur-Ata ridge, it is still unexplored unreachable north-eastern part of the ridge. Trespassing was under control of military, because the area faced the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan. Today the situation has changed and the area is becoming accessible as for scientists as well as for tourists.
20 km to the south-east of Khoja-Gur-Gur-Ata ridge, there is another ridge similar to its north-western stony neighbor, that forms the same inclined plateau and vertical cliff facing the south-east. This attractive area can become an object for prospective speleological expeditions.
The karst area of Baysun-Tau is huge. But, we are concentrating more on an absolutely unexplored area called Bel-Auty, which is similar to neighboring already well studied areas.
The area Bel-Auty is the northeastern continuation of the single mountain range Hodga-Gur-Gur-Ata with already known deepest caves. As already mentioned, these are caves Boy-Bulok, Dark Star and others.
We plan to explore 30-kilometer limestone wall and plateau in north-eastern part of the area, that previously was one of closed territories. From a small mountain village named Bahcha, one can see an edge of the plateau with a breaking wall. From there begins the path to an unknown limestone area.
Due to its remoteness from civilizations, the area remains hardly accessible. The local natural conditions made the life harsh there. But, despite this, local people are hospitable.
On the way of expected expedition, 50 km distant from a small town Denau, there is another interesting cave – Khojaipak, where flows a large stream with warm hydrogen sulfide water. Water flow rate is about 20 liters per second. Inside the cave smells noticeably hydrogen sulfide and local people fear to go deeper. As usual, locals say that the cave goes far deeper. Earlier, were made risky attempts to go deeper into the cave. But bottlenecks, hot air and the pungent smell of hydrogen sulfide interfered with all daredevils. Near a village Bahcha (starting point to a high plateau) there are 4 groups of multi-jet waterfalls Sangardak. Streams of water break out to a surface from holes in the limestone wall. Above the waterfalls, at an altitude 2500, there is a karst plateau. No one has ever worked in this enigmatic karst area. Possibly at the top of the plateau, there are entrances, which serve as accumulators of flowing water, forming a large hydro-geological system that in turn closes formation with waterfalls. The most interesting object for research is an almost vertical wall about 500 m high, with cave entrances.
To study the area, a strong and experienced team of cavers is needed. Thus, this region also remains unknown from the point of view of other vectors of speleology: such as biology, archeology, geology and others.
The most favorable time for an expedition is the time within July-August.
For fruitful and effective work, at least 15 working days and more than 10-12 people are needed. To deliver loads to the top, we would need a caravan of donkeys. To find a place for the base camp on the slopes of mountains is also important issue.
The expedition route would begin at the airport in Tashkent, from where the train delivers a team of the expedition to the town Dinau and then by car to the highland village Bahcha. There starts extreme part of the expedition. For the delivery of equipment, food, gasoline and other baggage, under a vertical limestone wall and on a limestone plateau, we plan to use donkeys from locals. Local guides will hopefully show us a path to the plateau and some entrances.
Speleological researches in Baysun-Tau, is a new period in the history of world speleology, when the pole of the deepest underground researches moves to Central Asia.
In this regard, we invite international caver-teams, clubs, associations to explore jointly the unknown karst areas of the Baysun-Tau mountain range in southern Uzbekistan.
Interested cavers teams can contact us by address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Targets and goals
- Search and exploration of new caves