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Jan 28, 2004

MAFOOTA PUMPHOUSE CAVE


Position: WGS84 - 18 22' 27.8" N, 77 53' 17.7" W, +/- 5 m

Field notes: R. S. STEWART

Cavers: R. S. Stewart, M. Taylor, S. McCall

Time in: 15:15 EST, Time out: 15:45 EST

THREAT VULNERABILITY: Low

Mafoota Pumphouse Cave is a new addition to the Register. It was found while we were searching for the Mafoota Caves, i.e. Mafoota River, 1, 2, and 3. The Mafoota Caves are not in Mafoota, but in the hills a km to the east and we were unsure of the direction from which they should be approached. As it turned out, they are easily reached by way of Hampton Estate.

To the east of the road that passes through Mafoota, there is a pumphouse, one of several in the district. Behind the pumphouse is a fissure-cave reached by a scramble of 4 metres down into long narrow external extension of the fissure.

The entrance proper is narrow in the extreme. Past this a narrow fissure leads to another very tight squeeze down into a further part of the fissure. A crawl led forwards but because I could not see any chance of turning around in the visible 10 metres of the passage, I passed on it, as did the others. The passage was barely large enough to allow a body to move through it and I had no desire to attempt the slither backwards for 10 metres, past jagged rock walls, if a dead-end were reached.

Biologically, all we observed were Eleuths near the entrance. We GPS marked it and are assigning it the name Mafoota Pumphouse Cave.

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