Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Blind Descent by James M. Tabor

My second book for January was Blind Descent by James M. Tabor. The book is subtitled "the quest to discover the deepest place on Earth." Sharon and I saw the author interviewed on John Stewart in June. Sharon expressed an interest in the subject so I ordered her a copy. She liked the book so much that she gave Wallen, Jim Dunn and me a copy of the book for Christmas.

The book focuses on two different cave explorers: American Jim Stone and Ukrainian Alexander Klimchouk. It looks at their efforts to find the deepest cave in the world. Stone was working in Mexico, while Klimchouk was toiling away in the Republic of Georgia. Essentially, they were competing with each other.

The books summarizes the background of each man and then chronicles their expeditions. The technical aspects of the super cave expeditions are fascinating. It is like climbing one of the tallest peaks in the world, except if you had to dive lakes and sumps in order to find a way to the top of the mountain. Additionally, you can't see the top of the mountain and you are really not sure how to get there...

Towards the end of the book, the Ukrainian explorers were free diving through a sump of freezing cold water more than a mile underground to continue their explorations. They described it as diving through a ten foot long pizza box sized hole.

This is an interesting book, but probably not one that I would have read if Sharon had not given it to me as a gift. I rate it a solid B for the stories of underground expeditions.

No comments:

Post a Comment