Blind Descent: The Quest to Discover the Deepest Place on Earth
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Essentially an account of two men, across the...more
I remain astonished at the things people will do. This has to be far worse than climbing mountains, because you are basically doing exactly the same thing except it's in the dark and once you have achieved your goal going down you have to survive coming back up.
A quote to whet your appetite: Needing to relieve himself...more
The cave descriptions also reminded me of how "House of Leaves" describes the spaces behind that closet door ... naming indescribably huge openings things like 'the cathedral room', etc.
This book is so reminiscent of Krakauer's accessible journalistic prose put to...more
In 2004, two great scientist-explorers attempted to find the bottom of the world. American Bill Stone took on the vast, deadly Cheve Cave in southern Mexico. Ukrainian Alexander Klimchouk targeted Krubera, a freezing nightmare of a supercave in the war-torn former Soviet republic of Georgia. Both men spent months almost two vertical miles deep, contending with thousand-foot drops, raging whitewater rivers, monstrous waterfalls, mile-long belly crawls, and the psychological horrors produced by we...more
I can't imagine what it would be like to spend weeks climbing a mountain in reverse, stopping only to eat and sleep in sparsely stocked base camps coming and going, with absolute darkness weighing upon everything. Nor can I truly contemplate havin...more
Exploration of supercaves (a supercave is to a cave as a mountain is to a hill) involves rappelling down hundred-foot drops, squeezing through tiny cracks, clearing debris with crowbars and power tools, and the most dangerous type of scuba diving in the world: cave diving.
Cavers live for weeks on end deep underground, where darkness is absolute except for the tiny lights...more
This is not a story of cave e...more
The author does a great job with the material he's chosen. I'm just not that into caving and the whole caving sub-culture. It sounded exciting, at first, and James Tabor does his best to provide a "you are there" atmosphere.
It's just t...more
This is not so much the story of c...more
For a book about deep cave exploration, it can be surprisingly dull at times. It sometimes felt like a bit of a slog. I also felt it spent way too much time on the American. I suspect that it does so for two reasons: the A...more
I enjoyed the big picture aspects of this book. Caving for exploration, discovery, and the advancement of science (plus a little adventure) appeals greatly to me. I liked the technical descriptions of rescues,...more
This book tells, in two parts, the race to find the deepest supercave by American Bill Stone in Mexico, and Ukranian Alexander Klimchouk in The Republic of Georgia. Bill Stone is much more of a character, and so the bulk of the book does foc...more
The writer has lots of good stories and info, and can move a narrative along just fine, but some parts of his writing are so obnoxiously repetitive that you want to put the book down. When you read the book, it is clear that multi-week expeditionary caving has a lot of parallels to mountaineering. He could have made thi...more
First, there were way too many reminders of how DEADLY AND DANGEROUS caving expeditions are. The events spoke for themselves. I didn't need the added reminders from the author. He included unnecessary punchlines elsewhere, too. For example:
"He wormed farther in and was digging out t...more
Both stories were interesting, and a better writer would have fou...more