May 2009 Aktun-Hu Exploration

by Alberto Nava

PET members: Alex Alvarez, Franco Attolini, and Alberto Nava joined forces with MCEP/CINDAQ members: Chris Le Maillot, Daniel Riordan, Fred Devos, and Sam Meacham for a week of exploration at the Aktun-Hu Cave System.

The energy of the project was divided between a recently located entrance called La Concha and the farthest upstream cenote Chicomoztoc, situated 11.5k feet from the closest entrance. About 8,000 ft of passages were explored and surveyed, and a new, large cenote was located southeast of La Concha.

The new cenote proved to be prolific in fauna, making one of the contending names for this water entrance: "Kusam nah", which is Mayan for 'Cenote de la Golondrinas', and describes a flock of small Mexican birds which were swarming the site. The other potential name is ?Planet of the Apes?, because we were greeted by a group of wild monkeys when we surfaced there.

Chicomoztoc cenote was geo-referenced by transporting a GPS unit and exiting the cenote to record a waypoint. Several leads were identified for further upstream exploration, including a probable continuation of the main South-West tunnel.

We would like to thank QRSS, CINDAQ, and Zero Gravity for their support during this week-long project.

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