Beyond the Deep: The Deadly Descent into the World's Most Treacherous Cave

Beyond the Deep: The Deadly Descent into the World's Most Treacherous Cave

3.0 6
by William Stone, Barbara am Ende, Monte Paulsen
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The Huautla in Mexico is the deepest cave in the Western Hemisphere, possibly the world. Shafts reach skyscraper-depths, caverns are stadium-sized, and sudden floods can drown divers in an instant. With a two-decade obsession, William Stone and his 44-member team entered the sinkhole at Sotano de San Augustin. The first camp settled 2,328 feet below ground in a cavern… See more details below

Overview

The Huautla in Mexico is the deepest cave in the Western Hemisphere, possibly the world. Shafts reach skyscraper-depths, caverns are stadium-sized, and sudden floods can drown divers in an instant. With a two-decade obsession, William Stone and his 44-member team entered the sinkhole at Sotano de San Augustin. The first camp settled 2,328 feet below ground in a cavern where headlamps couldn't even illuminate the walls and ceiling. The second camp teetered precariously above an underground canyon where two subterranean rivers collided. But beyond that lay the unknown territory -- a flooded corridor that had blocked all previous comers, claimed a diver's life, and drove the rest of the team back. Except for William Stone and Barbara am Ende, who forged on for 18 more days, with no hope of rescue, to set the record for the deepest cave dive in the Western Hemisphere.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
The obscure and dangerous pursuit of diving into Earth through underground sumps, described by the cavers who plumbed the farthest known reaches of Mexico's Huautla system. If your idea of adventure is to swim underwater deep underground in utter darkness with no clue of what you're going to run up against-then sump diving is for you. It certainly isn't for everyone. But Stone and Ende make a good case for their obsession with the vastness of the Huautla system of caves and connecting sumps: an obsession, essentially, with pushing into the unknown for the chance of finding the glories of an azure sea underneath a half-mile of limestone or of surfacing into aircraft-hangar-sized chambers after swimming through tight tunnels of water. Here, the two tell the story of their siege on the system, describing the technical equipment they perfected for the dive-including a rebreather that forms a closed metabolic loop-and the logistical aspects of keeping cavers underground in hypothermic conditions for days at a time. The authors also include the personal side of the expedition, telling about the cavers who dropped out, or who peeled back from their goals, especially after one of the team died under peculiar circumstances. The most gripping material comes with the snafus: hair caught in equipment, the loss of vital tools, broken bones from falls, terrifying moments when the stirred-up silt reduces visibility to zero, too many brushes with drowning. (As cavers are fond of saying, there are no rescues, just body removals.) Always at play are the group dynamics, which flare brightly on occasion but on the whole remain remarkably bonhomous under circumstances that could only be described as insanelytrying. The tale of an activity inexplicable for anyone with even a hint of claustrophobia, yet also a distillate of pure adventure deep inside the world. (Maps)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446561273
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
05/30/2010
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
368,438
File size:
1 MB

What People are saying about this

Wade Davis
Beyond The Deep is an extraordinary and heroic account. I shuddered as I read it. (Wade Davis, Explorer-in-Residence, National Geographic Society, author of The Serpent And The Rainbow)
William F. Buckley Jr.
I did it as a boy and felt the elation and the terror of speleology...[a] wonderful account of the ultimate experience below the surface of the Earth.
Jeff Long
From the opening page...Beyond The Deep plunges you into a tubular heart of darkness. (Jeff Long, author of The Descent)
Bernie Chowdhury
For anyone wanting to vicariously experience the hardship and dangers of expedition life underground, this is the book to read. (Bernie Chowdhury, author of The Last Dive and publisher of Immersed: the international technical diving magazine.)
Rick Ridgeway
...a page-turning adventure that gives you a front-row seat to...the first view of a place on Earth never before visited by human beings. (Rick Ridgeway, co-author of Seven Summits)
Hazel A. Barton
... describes one of the most significant achievements of modern exploration, with personal stories that make this an exciting, page-turning read. (Hazel A. Barton, Ph.D., co-star of the IMAX film, "Journey into Amazing Caves")
Edwin E. Aldrin
A riveting account of one of the most treacherous cave descents ever, I'd thought there could be no environment as alien as the lunar surface. No more. (Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin)
David Breashears
If you love stories about man's quest to reach the highest summits, you'll find this account of plumbing one of the Earth's deepest chasms equally compelling. (David Breashears, author of High Exposure and director of the Imax film, Everest)

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >