National Geographic : 2005 May
By Alexander Klimchouk Photographs by Stephen L. Alvarez When Sergio Garcia-Dils de la Vega kissed his girlfriend, Pilar Orche, good bye at the entrance to Krubera Cave, he promised to return the next day. But after teammate Bernard Tourte (above, at right) bruised his side in a tight passage, Garcia-Dils decided to stay with him at an underground camp, missing his chance to return to the surface before going deeper. It was two weeks before Orche saw her boyfriend again. Our expedition, however, had come prepared for a long siege, bringing more than five tons of gear to the cave. Ever since 1956, when explorers in France first descended below 1,000 meters (3,281 feet), SOCIETY GRANT generations of cavers had dreamed This Expeditions Council of achieving the 2,000-meter mark. project was supported by your Society membership. Would Krubera take us there?