Doi Angkhang Expedition - Chiang Mai - February 2020

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In February 2020 a team of twenty-two cavers, mainly from the Shepton Mallet Caving Club and Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures, explored and surveyed caves in the Doi Angkhang region of Chiang Mai province. This mountainous karst region is on the border with Myanmar and the area explored included parts of the Angkhang Royal Agricultural Station, Doi Phahom Pok National Park and Pha Daeng National Park. In two weeks a total of 5.4 km of passage was mapped in 14 caves.

  • Tham Pha Daeng Currently the deepest known cave in Doi Angkhang. It had been explored by the Chiang Mai cavers and was surveyed to confirm it as the second deepest cave in Thailand at -293 m and 2.8 km long, with several large inlets still unexplored.
  • Tham Ban Luang This cave had been explored in 1984 by an American expedition and was relocated after a couple of days of searching. A new, higher, entrance to this cave was found which increased the depth to -207 m, Thailand’s fourth deepest cave.
  • Tham Hub Pha Khao (aka Dead Robber Waterfall Cave) Another deep cave that had been found in 1984 and which had been refound by the Chiang Mai cavers in 2009. The 2020 expedition connected two new, higher, entrances to the system and resurveyed the old cave to give a new depth of -200 m (the country’s fifth deepest) and a length of 1.2 km.
  • Angkhang Sinkhole is only 50 m from one of the new entrances to Tham Hub Pha Khao. This seasonal stream sink had been partially descended in 2010, but this year the cave was explored and surveyed to a choke at -126 m and not the expected connection with Tham Hub Pha Khao.
  • Tham Malako A new cave explored by the 2020 expedition which unfortunately choked at  a depth of-106 m.

The Doi Angkhang 2020 expedition has to thank Josh Morris who negotiated our access to the area. If it wasn’t for his hard work the expedition wouldn’t have been possible. We would also like to thank the following who gave permissions to the expedition: the Deputy Director General of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation; the Director of the Bureau of Geotechnology, Department of Mineral Resources; the Commanding General, Third Army; the Head of Pha Muang Army; the Superintendents of the Phahom Pok and Pha Daeng National Parks; the Ban Pha Daeng village headman and the Director and Manager of the Angkhang Royal Agricultural Station. We also need to thank Utsanee Sripet and Rodsukhon Panyala of Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures for keeping the Army informed of our activities on a daily basis.

Expedition Report

 

Name Code Co-ordinates Altitude Length Depth
Angkhang Sinkhole CM0245 47Q 504606 2201298 1,400 m 478 m -121 m
Cave CM0339 CM0339 47Q 503849 2191168 1,140 m 39 m -23 m
Cave CM0350 CM0350 47Q 504418 2201220 1,393 m 127 m -72 m
Pi Man Doi Pha Daeng Rock Shelter CM0271 47Q 500204 2184957 1,030 m 15 m 0 m
Tham Ban Luang CM0074 47Q 504464 2199035 1,464 m 815 m -207 m
Tham Hub Pha Khao CM0097 47Q 504369 2201079 1,375 m 1,254 m -200 m
Tham Malako CM0315 47Q 504427 2201844 1,400 m 274 m -106 m
Tham Orb CM0341 47Q 503269 2190062 1,220 m 110 m -20 m
Tham Pha Daeng CM0144 47Q 501662 2187741 1,040 m 2,822 m -293 m
Tham Pha Daeng Morakot CM0157 47Q 501870 2185973 1,224 m 122 m -29 m
Tham Phaya Nak CM0279 47Q 505036 2179974 1,084 m 50 m -10 m
Tham Phra Pikanet CM0280 47Q 505253 2179833 1,083 m 97 m -27 m
Tham Pi Man Doi Pha Daeng CM0337 47Q 500132 2184704 950 m 12 m -4 m