FERNIE, B.C. – A member of a team of explorers has reached a record depth in a cave near Fernie, B.C., that is believed to be the deepest in Canada.
The cave has so far been measured at 5.3 kilometres in length and 670 metres deep — more than 200 storeys below the ground.
Project leader Jeremy Bruns puts that in perspective by pointing out that the CN Tower in Toronto is just over 550 metres tall.
The Calgary-led group began exploring the Mount Bisaro plateau in 2012 and has done roughly 10 expeditions.
Team leader Katie Graham recently made it down to the 670-metre mark, but had to scuba dive through a channel to do it.
Bruns says it’s fascinating that there is a lot of the plateau left to explore and the cave could go down as far as one kilometre.
During expeditions, explorers are taken to the plateau by helicopter as it would be too gruelling to hike all their equipment up. They have endured harsh conditions: camping underground, enduring temperatures just above freezing and relying on headlamps in the complete darkness.
“To get to this milestone is really exciting,” said Graham. “We know there’s a lot more cave there. This isn’t the end of it.”
She said the explorers have experienced “twists and turns and gone down huge shafts that we never sort of imagined.”
Her dive into the depths was “exciting, but short and very cold. You kind of left just wanting to see more.
“That’s just going to tease me until I can get back there again.”
(CHBZ, The Canadian Press)