The depth record for Canadian caves has just been broken, with the connection of Heavy Breather and Pachidream caves. On August 14th a team of five consisting of Colin and Vince Massey, Katie Graham, Chris Omura and Gavin Elsley descended to the Northern Line passage in Heavy Breather. Vince noticed a very small inlet about 3m off the floor which was previously unexplored. With a combined effort, the climb to the in-feeder was done quickly and a handline was rigged. The passage beyond this climb was a tight, meandering vadose canyon that continued for about 70m to a 10m pitch. The canyon was surveyed and the pitch dropped into a large room, where a rope could be seen on the opposite wall. This was the base of the 13th pitch in Pachidream, about 300m below the entrance.
The depth record in Canada now stands at approximately 652m and the through trip involves 24 pitches (which may be a record in itself). The surveyed length of this system now exceeds 4km, but there is still more data to be added to the survey and many more leads to be explored and surveyed.
The through trip is probably one of the finest in Canada, but is not for beginner cavers, as there is a lot of rope work and some long sections of tight, strenuous passages. If anyone would like to do this trip, contact Colin Massey or myself, as we will be happy to lead a couple of teams on the weekend of August 28th.