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1980 Rio Iglesia Expedition

Departure Date: February 10, 1980

Duration: 115 days

Destination: Li Nita, Sistema Huautla, Oaxaca, Mexico

Number of Personnel: 12

Expedition Leaders: Bill Stone (USA), Bill Steele (USA), and Jim Smith (USA)

Exploration Team: Doug Powell (USA), Steve Zeman (USA), Henry Schneiker (USA), Ron Simmons (USA), Bob Jefferys (USA), Janet Fitzsimmons (USA), Diana Lowrey (USA), Jill Dorman (USA), Mark Minton (USA)

Objectives: To explore newly discovered caves on the Agua de Cerro Ridge of the Huautla Plateau. To re-explore the Sotano del Rio Iglesia and verify a hydrologic link between it and the Sotano de San Agustin.

Accomplishments: Rescued two members of the Polish expedition to Huautla from the -600m level of Sotano de San Agustin. Explored Li Nita, Nita He, and Nita Nanta to depths of -1030 m, -599 m, and -550 m, respectively. All were new discoveries on this expedition. A 27 day underground assault from Camp I (-612 m) in Li Nita netted a link with the Sotano de San Agustin to produce the Huautla Cave System. At -1222 m in vertical this constituted the world's third deepest known natural abyss. Sotano del Rio Iglesia was explored to its terminus at -535 m without verification of a hydrologic link to the Sotano de San Agustin. The Li Nita - San Agustin link was achieved by means of an 80 m Scuba dive at -1030 m in Li Nita.

Maps: (will open in another window)
    Left portion, Sistema Huautla profile
    Middle portion, Sistema Huautla profile
    Right portion, Sistema Huautla profile

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