We're not all a bunch of layabouts...

2018 Breakthrough

Most cave exploration requires persistence, whether it's applied through digging, shaft-bashing, or diving. But in the entire history of the sport, there have been few if any efforts as long or as determined as the Dachstein project, led by Joel Corrigan on trips every year (and sometimes twice a year) for 20 years, and carried on for more than two decades before that by earlier generations of mainly British cavers. On September 6th, 2018, this long siege reached a very significant milestone when Joel, Tom Foord, Ian Holmes and Axel Hack (who took the photos published here) connected the far end of Wot U Got Pot to the mighty Hirlatzhöhle, so creating a system 1,560 metres deep (ninth deepest in the world) and 113 kilometres long. This beats the previous depth record for caves pushed by British expeditions, held by the Pozu del Xitu –Cueva Culiembro system in the Picos de Europa, by almost 300 metres.

--David Rose, British Caving Association Newsletter, Issue 34.

Pic 01

Joel Corrigan (L), Tom Foord, Axel Hack and Ian Holmes at the point where they connected the W.U.G. Pot survey to the Hirlatz.

Pic 02

A view of the vast passage where they made the link – Wadiland.

Read more:

BCA Newsletter, Issue 34

Newsletter author and Dachstein Caver, David Rose, wrote a spectacular article about the breakthrough in Issue 34.

Wales Online Article

Will Hayward of Wales Online wrote a piece about the breakthrough which is available online.

The Corinthian

"The magazine for old stoics" wrote an article about Joel, the expeditions helmsman for the last 20 years, with some excellent quotes.