Elusive Majesty: Exploration of the Worlds Most Beautiful Cave Ron DeLano

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Published: December 4th 2013

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Elusive Majesty: Exploration of the Worlds Most Beautiful Cave  by  Ron DeLano

Elusive Majesty: Exploration of the Worlds Most Beautiful Cave by Ron DeLano
December 4th 2013 | ebook | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, RTF | | ISBN: | 3.39 Mb

I pulled off my boots, shaking ever-present grit from the toes, and stripped down until my only attire was a headlamp. Now theres one for the fashion runways, I thought wryly. More aging adventurer than willowy Milan supermodel, I eased into theMoreI pulled off my boots, shaking ever-present grit from the toes, and stripped down until my only attire was a headlamp.

Now theres one for the fashion runways, I thought wryly. More aging adventurer than willowy Milan supermodel, I eased into the impossibly cool, aqua water and felt the floor quickly fall away. My buddy Neil followed behind. We stroked across the Olympic pool-sized lake, which at its center seemed to be 20 crystalline feet deep, maybe more. Ahead of us the water dove around a blind corner, reaching into who knows where. Or what. Then we saw it. Or rather, it chose to reveal itself to us.

We were at the gates of an enchanted kingdom that no fairy tale could conjure. A broad avenue, splendidly decorated with pagoda towers and rich draperies, rose out of the lake in front of us. Exchanging wide-eyed glances, we stepped onto the promenade, passing lily pads and long ribbons rising from the lake on either side.

The path terminated in a broad platform seemingly designed for royal audiences. We found ourselves in a magnificent ballroom, our shadows rippling distantly on its walls. We were in Lechuguilla cave, 800 steamy feet below the earths surface in New Mexico. And we werent turning back.Called the Jewel of the Underground by its devotees, Lechuguilla is a wonderland of sublime vistas, its secrets unrolling in more than 135+ miles of passages - and thats only what has been explored so far.

Its both the deepest limestone cave in the U.S. and, so far, the fifth longest in the world. No one, however, has chronicled in detail the secrecy, exploits, victories, accidents and inevitable politics surrounding the caves emergence into public consciousness.

This book entitled Elusive Majesty is the first installment of The Lechuguilla Cave Trilogy and chronicles the early years of this two decades long adventure. This is a landmark work aimed at a broad audience that enjoys armchair adventure, vividly told, regardless of whether theyve ever set foot in an REI. Quick background: Two decades ago, Lechuguilla was considered an obscure pit near Carlsbad Cavern that could be thoroughly explored in less than an hour.

Yet visitors repeatedly noticed a howling wind beneath the dirt floor, indisputable evidence of a great cavern beyond. A determined team of cavers dug intermittently for 18 months before breaking through to one of natures grandest mysteries - one that Indians had known of at its mouth, but that had lain anonymous for who knows how many generations.

Weve taken a dual approach to the book: high adventure and obsessive attention to factual accuracy. The former describes five of Lechuguillas most significant and colorful explorers, nearly all of whom participated for the entire 20 years. The collection of personalities and real professions is, to put it mildly, eclectic: a genius Mensa beekeeper, an exuberant emergency room physician, a Luddite hermit, a gung-ho rock climber and myself, an optometrist and onetime goldmine operator.

The narrative includes our agreements, revelations, arguments, near-fatal accidents, partings and coming together of ways with an intensity that only a first-person experience can. Yet the real main character book is the cave itself - a splendorous, world-class natural treasure by virtually any definition. Its hard to imagine anywhere as stunning, magnificent, ethereal and simultaneous alien as Lechuguilla. Knowing that words cant possibly do it justice, Elusive Majesty has been lavishly endowed with 170 photographs and maps from internationally recognized cave photographers and graphic artists.

As one of the most important and interesting exploration stories of the last century, Lechuguilla Caves story deserves to told - and brilliantly illustrated photographically - in full. This is the book to do it. I am most pleased to present Elusive Majesty the first installment of The Lechuguilla Cave Trilogy for your consideration.



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