Over the years, the Progression Caving (Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures Co., Ltd.) Team has contributed in the exploration, mapping and scientific study of significant caves in Northern Thailand to support the Department of National Parks in promoting sustainable tourism and development of outdoor recreation. This year, the team spent over 10 survey days and 1000+ man hours breaking into virgin cave passage and resurveying caves using modern survey techniques.
In March 2021, we joined forces with the Chiang Rai Caving Club in extending/upgrading the survey of Tham Luang. The team aid climbed into a previously unexplored chamber called the Crystal Chamber, which is very well decorated with stals, curtains, helictites and crystal formations. The team also helped extend the grueling crawlway in Monk Series by 582 meters.
In Chiang Mai Province, we are working closely with the National Parks Research and Innovation Development Center to upgrade existing surveys and develop a tourism model for key caves across the region.
Tham Takkatan (“Cricket Cave”) is one of the better known caves around Chiang Mai city. It is known for its complex network of passages that makes route finding challenging through tight squeezes and climbs. This makes it an ideal caving destination for sport cavers. While the cave has been surveyed in the past (M. Ellis (2019), A. Seveau (2001-2005), J. Kelly (2019)) a complete exploration and resurvey of the cave was due. Between 07 June 2021 and 23 June 2021, the Progression Caving team was involved in surveying and exploring Tham Takkatan. The team was joined by Ob Kahn National Park officials on this project.
Tham Chiang Dao is one of the most visited caves in Thailand – with over 76000 visitors annually. It has a biodiverse cave ecosystem with 46 species recorded and was also the first cave to be mapped in Thailand. The team organised a 3-day caving expedition in June 2021 to resurvey Tham Chiang Dao. 11 cavers from Austria, France, India, New Zealand, Thailand, UK and US mapped 3.79 km of passage.
The team is continuing with the survey effort with additional days planned in both Takkatan and Chiang Dao Caves. Stay tuned for more updates from the survey and tourism development effort. If you would like to learn more about caving and caving techniques, take a look at our caving adventures and courses here.