Batu Caves, Dark Caves, Upper and Lower Ganesh


I borrowed the key from the cave group of the MNS and photocopied the survey, never before published - RRCPC newsletter scores another first! The taxi dropped me off amongst the usual muddle of hawker stalls pedalling coconuts, flowers and curry. Not your average Bernies breakfast! I met Philip and Wye at the bottom of the 272 steps leading to Batu Caves. Hartley was a mad American cyclist “that Philip had picked up along the way and joined in.” 208 steps later we donned helmets to climb over the first gate to look “official” then as if by magic the mother of all padlocks sprung open at the touch of the key and we were in.
The entrance was 10 by 15m and blackened by torchlights of the past. Little monkeys swung on the vines draped over the entrance and watched with interest as we got the carbide going and had a “sort”.

The cave at one point was open to the public so a concrete walkway leads through the first two caverns, the smell increases in Intensity and we were soon inches deep in guano infested with a million of the worlds largest cockroaches. The junction between Cavern A and Cavern B (names almost as inventive as the Welsh) could easily link by a high level route to Batu Caves but climbing over 100 feet on smooth, slimy algae covered walls is not really on. Onward we went (our noses becoming accustomed to the aroma)

You know when you reach the Great Oxbow as a shaft of light descends from the heights above (now over 150 ft) and lights up the boulder breakdown. Still gloomy the place feels like a massive cathedral but without the organ. Awe inspiring bar the graffiti. We headed for the mud and misery of Cavern E and saw a few formations along the way. Apart from sheer size there’s not much to see. I decided to leave the vertical mud slide for another day. Unfinished business?
We squelched back to the Great Chamber and had a peer into the pothole series.

Cavern D is a lot smaller and therefore more interesting as there is more in view to look at. We had a ferret and found a lot of potential digging sites, all filled in with reddish sand which would be an easy but sweaty job to remove. The next motorway route was Cavern C, by now almost thirty metres wide. The floor was firmer with less guano and then suddenly the air was filled with dust and small flies dropping from the bats above. Heads down, mouths shut, nostrils covered we rushed through what we hoped was a short section. No, the dust went to the end, end what a disappointing end. It must go - but where? and how!?? We tailed it out and returned to the Great Chamber for fresh air. We had been in for over three hours and decided to have a look at the Ganeshes.

Lower Ganesh has a concrete
floor which takes the fun out of exploring, still there was a few climbable, unused waterfalls and we had a clamber about. For all of its enormous gaping mouth, Ganesh has that little visited feel and there was few footprints on the slightly worn path. Again we found a disappointing end, dead stops, so we all went home.

At least we reached the foot of the hill before I realised that my tackle bag and purse were still in the cave (typical), so we went back for a second look. The second time was much more interesting as we noticed a few more boulders and played hide and seek. This is not caving RRCPC style but has much to recommend it!
Then filthy, sweaty, hot, and smelly we went back to Philips flat to repaint his shower area a nice shade of brown and
guzzle beer.

Elizabeth Daniels.

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