Thursday, March 11, 2010


Consider me a Spelunker! I have Spelunked! Since I had to explain this term to an extremely intelligent person yesterday, I suppose I should explain it here. Spelunking is very simply the sport of exploring wild (non-commercial) caves. Hawaii Island has one of the most extensive cave systems in the world right under our feet! Yesterday A group of friends and I explored the Kazumura Cave system with guide Harry Shick Junior and his father Harry Shick Senior.


Noel descending down the first of many ladders
Francine and Pam coming into the cave opening
The Kazumura Cave It is in fact a Lava Tube, and it is the world's longest known Lava Tube. It was formed between four and six centuries ago as a result of a vent from the East side of the Kilauea Volcano erupting. As the lava flows advanced, they cool from the outside in. This produces a hard crust around the flow and that protects the lava from cooling too quickly. The protective crust thickens and over time a lava tube is formed.
This is an example of a Lava Fall
An other of the many ladders
Noel going down a ladder
The Kazumura Cave is the longest cave in the state of Hawaii. 40.7 miles of it has been surveyed. It is also the longest known continuous lava tube in the world, the 27th longest cave in the world, 7th longest cave in the US and the deepest cave in the US descending 3613 feet.

Here is a video (not by me) that shows the tour of the Kazumura Cave I visited yesterday.

If you are interested in viewing the Kazumura Cave you can contact Harry Shick at 808. 967.7208. Tours start at $10 pp for the two hour exploration tour and are conducted on a reservation only basis Monday-Saturday. You can learn more about the tours and the cave here. 


pedalpower said...

Wow...great photos and another good reason for me to come back to HI.


Now I'm bummed that I couldn't go too. Really interesting.

Jimh. said...

Awesome! We have a 2 mile long lava tube here in Washington on the southern slope of Mt. St.'s chilly down there!

Liz said...

Wow, you sure got some good photos inside the tube! Have been in other lava tubes here on the Big Island, but we've gotta do this one sometime too!

Cloudia said...

Very cool!

Aloha from Oahu my Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Brittany Anderson said...

I had the pleasure of Spelunking my first time in Hawaii. It was so exciting! Have you heard about the strange bugs they've found living in the lava tubes? I think I remember being told about a blind cricket and a spider that makes only one strand of silk as a web. I swam in a cenote in Mexico- it had blue eyed catfish! living in it. Thanks for sharing your experience!

Buy Kamagra said...

I'm a Spelunker and I remember when I went to a Hawaii expedition it was so exciting, but the problem was I was trapped for years into a cave, thanks god because I'm an expert and I got leave that horrible place.

Anonymous said...

I guess the proper term for exploring LAVA caves could be speluking. You WILL in fact get a very strange look and be corrected that the term is CAVER in most if not all of the main land.
It is jokingly said that cavers rescue splukers.
Never take going underground for granted.Think first, be prepared and tell someone not with you. Enjoy.