In the southern portion of China there is an expansive karst landscape, formed by the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum. The region is home to the South China Karst UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is actually seven different notable features, as well as the visually impressive Moon Hill, some of China's supercaves, and Xiaozhai Tiankeng, the world's deepest sinkhole. You can climb Moon Hill, but it's best to plan ahead. You can also explore China's great caves, but it is necessary to explore between October-November and February-March to avoid the monsoon seasons, and getting down Xiaozhai Tiankeng requires a lot of gear. You can read more about the Tiankengs (giant dolines or sinkholes) in the karst of China (PDF).
Most expensive rescue in German history as man begins second week trapped 3000 feet underground in cave — It may take rescuers a week to evacuate speleologist Johann Westhauser after he was injured by a rockfall in the depths of Germany's Riesending Cave.
In Deep: The Dark And Dangerous World Of Extreme Cavers
On his thirteenth day underground, when he’d come to the edge of the known world and was preparing to pass beyond it, Marcin Gala placed a call to the surface. He’d travelled more than three miles through the earth by then, over stalagmites and boulder fields, cave-ins and vaulting galleries. He’d spidered down waterfalls, inched along crumbling ledges, and bellied through tunnels so tight that his back touched the roof with every breath. Now he stood at the shore of a small, dark pool under a dome of sulfurous flowstone. He felt the weight of the mountain above him—a mile of solid rock—and wondered if he’d ever find his way back again. It was his last chance to hear his wife and daughter’s voices before the cave swallowed him up.[more inside]
You travel all around the globe looking for the world’s most beautiful cave. . . and the best one is in Sheffield.
"During that trip I even had a leech stuck to my eyeball for a couple of days. We tried coaxing it off with some raw meat and salt." Robbie Shone takes eye-popping cave photos.
The Nottingham Cave Survey is active program that is recording all of Nottingham's 450+ sandstone caves, using a laser scanner to capture 3D details of the caves. So far, there are over 100 clips on YouTube, most of them flythroughs into the caves. Many clips are short, some clocking under a minute, while others run over 10 minutes, such as the tour of the private Peel Street Caves (Rouse's Sand Mine [PDF]).
An interview with caving researcher James M. Tabor. I haven't recently come across a finer link for pure imagination fuel than this brief interview with caver and caving researcher and writer James M. Tabor, author of Blind Descent. [more inside]
Bigtime expedition caving in 1980s Mexico A very high-quality 35-minute video about long-term, multi-expedition efforts to connect several large cave systems in southeastern Mexico. Lots of diving and climbing, and some very nice formations. No bats or insanity (unless you think cave diving is crazy). [more inside]
Somewhere in Australia, Black Mountain beckons the intrepid adventurer. Who knows what kind of dastardly creature(s) could be hiding in there! If you go there and come back alive, make sure you tell everyone about your experience.